Visiting researchers valued

Recent visits by overseas researchers to the Otago Museum are proving beneficial for other museum visitors, as well as for the museum, the Otago Museum Trust Board heard this week.

Glenn Summerhayes, of the University of Otago anthropology and archaeology department, who is also a board member, noted that a fellow anthropologist, Claire Perrette, a PhD student at the University of Wollongong, near Sydney, had recently made a research visit to the museum.

Ms Perrette studied 41 shell artefacts, which were on display at the Otago Museum's Melanesia gallery and which were on loan from the National Museum of Papua New Guinea.

She is writing a PhD thesis on ''Shells artefacts, value and power: an anthropological approach to archaeological remains in Melanesia'',At Tuesday's board meeting, Prof Summerhayes emphasised the importance of visiting researchers in terms of advancing the museum's research-related goals.

Ms Perrette had clearly had a positive experience at the Otago Museum and, as someone with advanced specialist knowledge in her field, she could also contribute strongly to the museum, he said.

The museum's recently appointed director, Ian Griffin, tabled a list of recent research visitors to the museum, as part of his first formal report as director to the board.

Dr Griffin noted that recent research visitors, including Ms Perrette, had interacted positively with other visiting members of the public while undertaking their research in the museum's public galleries.

Having visiting researchers undertaking study nearby clearly added to the enjoyment of other visiting members of the public, he said.

- john.gibb@odt.nz

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