Toitu Otago Settlers Museum collections officer Beth Rees measures one of a pair of recently-acquired 19th-century rimu chairs, funded by the Otago Settlers Association. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum staff are working to clear a
backlog of more than 1400 items destined for its collection,
most given during a three-year freeze on new acquisitions.
The freeze was introduced during the museum's recent $37.5
million redevelopment and was in place from early 2010 until
about March this year.
Museum collections manager Claire Nodder said she was
grateful for the generosity of the public in making the
donations, and for their patience in allowing the museum to
complete its redevelopment, before it formally brought the
items into the collection.
Many donors had agreed to retain the items until the museum
reopened to the public.
Other items had been held in storage by the museum during the
closure, but could not be processed at that stage, Ms Nodder
There had been an initial backlog of about 1450 items, mostly
arising from 350 separate donations, and including some items
bought by the museum.
The mass of interesting artefacts includes a woman's jacket
from the 19th century, three rimu wooden chairs showing
strong Scottish influence, and several children's toys of the
Other items include seats from Carisbrook, archival items
from World War 1, Marconi television equipment, and videos of
Dame Allison Holst broadcasting her former television cooking
show from Dunedin.
Ms Nodder said the museum could now devote more staff
resources to reducing the backlog.
The recent employment of a University of Otago anthropology
graduate, Beth Rees, as collections officer, was helping with