Archive for the 'Marguerite Hill' Category

Policing history online

The Resources Team at the Police Museum – not part of the rogues gallery

The Resources Team at the Police Museum – not part of the rogues gallery (click for full picture)

On the 29th of March Te Ara’s Resources Team attended the launch of the New Zealand Police Museum’s new website and first ever online exhibition.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about our visit to the re-launched Police Museum. Their new website gives staff the opportunity to show more of the collections and education work they do. It also gave Canadian intern Chelsea Nichols the opportunity to stage this new exhibition, ‘Suspicious Looking‘.

‘Suspicious Looking’ is an exhibition about 19th century mug shots, those often unflattering but fascinating snaps taken by police when someone is arrested. The exhibition has a rogues’ gallery of criminals, along with the crimes they were arrested for. The list of crimes is intriguing – fancy taking a guess at what the sentence for being a rogue and a vagabond would be in 1888? Try a year behind bars.

The museum is a great, hands-on place (as you can see from the above photo of the members of the Resources Team), so why not check it (or the new website) out.

Te Ara resource team go wild on visit to the Police Museum

Police physical culture class, 1906

Police physical culture class, 1906

A few weeks ago the resource team were very excited to go on a field trip to the New Zealand Police Museum. The Police Museum is part of the Royal New Zealand Police College campus in Porirua, and was first opened to the public in 1996. The museum was re-launched in September 2009, after a complete re-think and re-fit. However, collecting objects began in 1908, when police commissioner Walter Dinnie decided to bring together weapons and other implements used in crimes as teaching resources for the police college. The museum still collects object evidence from criminal cases, as well as social history objects around policing.

We were visiting to find out more about the museum since its re-launch. We were also there to discover whether the Police Museum would be able to help us with resources – images, objects, videos and other media – for our upcoming themes: Social Connections, and Government and Nation. These themes will have entries about such things as youth offending, victims of crime and the police service.

We found potential resources galore – the new galleries are full of fascinating objects and stories. Objects such as illegal gambling paraphernalia taken as evidence, stab-proof vests issued to police officers, and Rhys, the stuffed police dog.

The museum tells the stories of day-to-day community policing, as well as the work of forensic photographers and scientists. It also covers many of New Zealand’s worst crimes: Aramoana shooter David Gray’s weapons are on display, as well as a death mask of one of the Burgess Gang. The museum also looks at events like the Erebus disaster, when New Zealand police were sent to Antarctica to help locate and identify victims.

One highlight was the 1981 Springbok tour protest footage taken by the police. Now on display, it has never been shown to the public before, and it is quite an experience to watch the protests from the other side of the line.

The museum is definitely worth a visit, and you can expect to see some of their wealth of material on Te Ara in the future.

Te Ara on Flickr

From our Flickr photos: Clowns at the Levin A & P show (click to view on Flickr)

Did you know Te Ara is on Flickr? We’ve been using Flickr as a photosharing and research tool for the last year. Our former Resources Team Leader Shirley Williams began Te Ara’s group and photostream, then Deb Sidelinger enlarged it and now Emily Tutaki (who is currently reclining with a beer somewhere in Greece) and I administer Flickr for Te Ara.

Te Ara has 164 contacts on Flickr, and many of them contribute regularly to Te Ara’s group pool. The group pool was created so that others could add their photos of New Zealand, its landscape and culture. Some of our big Flickr contributors are Deirdre McCoskrie – Light and Time, Branxhom, Ian@NZFlickr, PhillipC, >Russ< and Sandy Austen whanau. There are many others and we thank you all for uploading your beautiful and fascinating images. As well as contributing images, Flickr users are able to comment on images or mark them as favourites. So far, this is our most commented-on photograph, while this is our most viewed one.

The Te Ara photostream is full of photographs taken by Te Ara staff, past and present. Staff members upload photographs they have taken for work and of places that have caught their eye. Some of the biggest staff contributors are Jock Phillips and Janine Faulknor, who busily photograph landscapes, towns and quirky local attractions for the Places entries. The Hawke’s Bay regional entry is coming up soon and we will be adding photographs taken by Jock, Janine and the entry writer, Kerryn Pollock, to our Flickr photostream.

In an earlier blog post Carl talked about geotagging, and we’ve been experimenting with geotagging for the last few months. A Flickr user, Ray Tomes, raised the idea on our discussion board and we’ve started to geotag our images when we can.

For the last three Places entries, we have included a Flickr exhibition. We use a flash slideshow called Pictobrowser to pull in the Flickr images. Because there is only limited space for images in each Places entry, the Flickr exhibition allows us to show more of the wonderful images and locations of each region. The latest Flickr exhibition is from the Otago entry, and we will shortly be inviting people to add their photos to the Hawke’s Bay exhibition.

Flickr is also playing a part in the upcoming Economy and the City theme. We resource researchers often turn to Flickr for contemporary photographs, or for photographs of places we can’t get to – like this one from Paris advertising the 2011 Rugby World Cup. And I was happy to find this photograph of two young boys mowing the lawn in 1970 on Flickr. It’s from a family collection; personal images like this one are hard to find in traditional archives.

Flickr members have also come to our rescue in our search for images during the Settled Landscape theme. We posted a list of hard to find images – including a photograph of a cow sniffing or licking a possum – and asked for our Flickr contacts to help us out. We’ve received some useful feedback, including this photograph of a brown quail supplied by Sandy Austen whanau. We’re still waiting for the one with the cow and the possum…