We're closing early this Friday

Due to a private event, Auckland Museum is closing at 3PM this Friday. Last entry to RELICS: A New World Rises will be at 1.30PM.



Letters, diaries, emails and messages can be much more than just transactions of information. They have the power to capture and retain emotion, documenting love and loss – a connection between two people at a particular point in time and space. New technologies allow us to communicate these emotions in more ways, but our need to tell people we love and miss them is timeless.

From letters and diaries to emails and direct messages, this exhibition will explore the ways we communicate feelings of love and how that has changed and stayed the same over time. Bringing together items from the Auckland Museum collection with loans and donations from the public, Love & Loss is about the emotional power of the written word and the sacred place letters, messages, texts hold in all our lives.

Get involved


Send or shred

The choice is yours

Send or shred

Once you've been inspired by the heartfelt sentiments on the walls around you, it will be your turn to express yourself. Write a letter on the stationery provided and then send it using our custom Love & Loss stamps (courtesy of NZ Post), tuck it into an envelope on the wall to share it, or destroy it forever using the in-gallery shredder.

Every word transcribed

Don't miss out

Every word transcribed

Beautiful script can sometimes be hard to read. Never fear – each of the letters on show has been transcribed and made available digitally so you don't miss a single heartfelt word. Just use the camera on your smartphone to scan the QR code on the label and the transcript will appear.

Cross-written letter, 1845. Auckland Museum Collection: MS-1991-75-730. More information ›
Love in a time of Covid

Dive deeper online

Love in a time of Covid

Created largely over Zoom during lockdowns, Covid was very much on the minds of the team who developed this exhibition. We wanted to ensure that the expanded stories were still accessible should we find ourselves back under COVID-19 Level 2 measures, and thanks to a web-based app (no download required!), you can access every piece of media through your own phone. Don't forget your headphones!

Love notes on loan from Jinjin Ma.
Browse from home

Browse from home

If you can't make it to the Museum at this time, or you'd like to peruse this exhibition online before visting in person, you can visit our dedicated Love in the Time of COVID page. Explore a virtual tour of Love & Loss, wander our beautiful app, and watch real stories of love. You can even write your own letter.

With love,
Auckland Museum

explore from home

More from our collections


Love & Loss brings some of the most emotive objects in our Documentary Heritage collections to life. Explore more evocative stories from all our collections here.