Auckland Museum is proud to once again join the New York Academy of Medicine's #ColorOurCollections, in which libraries, archives, and museums create free colouring books based on objects in their collections.

The open-access initiative encourages the public to explore, colour-in, and connect with a wide range of collection objects.

Our 2019 colouring book includes bookplates, prints, and posters from our documentary heritage collections. Please share your creations with the hashtag #ColorOurCollections


Take part!


To take part please download our colouring in book, print out the colouring sheets and share your images using the hashtags #ColorOurCollections and #ColorOurCollection. 

You can also create your own versions of our Collections Online images by clicking on the following link to PIXLR Editor, a free online programme. Our handy How-to Guide (below) will help you create your own colouring collections.

Download "How to Guide"

Spotlight: Bookplates


Untitled. Michel, Karl. PD-1956-5-147

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira

A bookplate, also known as ex-libris (Latin for “from the library of…”), is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate ownership.

The advent of mass publishing in the early to mid-19th century gave rise to book collecting as a fashionable pastime. As a result, the bookplate as an art form in its own right began to attract considerable interest. The first three decades of the 20th century would come to be known as the ‘golden age’ of bookplates. This was largely due to a move away from the armorial type, with the use of a family’s ornamental coat of arms, and toward highly decorative pictorial or motif based designs.

These designs were more personal and more symbolic of a collectors taste and individuality. Artists and designers began to be commissioned to create bookplates, and societies were form around the world to promote discussion, collection and study of these small but impressive works of art.

Allen Jordan’s bookplate for S. V. Hagley (pictured right) features a snake wound around an open book, a magnifying glass, and a bushel of flowers. This is one of over 7000 bookplates from the Percy Neville Barnett Collection, gifted to the Auckland Institute and Museum Library in 1956.

Download our 2018 #ColorOurCollections booklet