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Topic: The International Collection

Is part of topic History at Te Papa

This collection of some 2000 items includes many artefacts that are not of New Zealand origin and do not fall within the parameters of other collection categories. The material is very diverse and comprises archaeological, historical, and contemporary objects from a wide range of societies such as ancient Egypt, Paleolithic Europe, America, Africa, Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Since the establishment of the Colonial Museum last century, artefacts have been acquired by way of gift, exchange, purchase, and through anthropologists acquiring them during the course of their fieldwork. The collection also reflects the history of the Museum and the value placed by public donors on the Museum as a worthwhile place to care for diverse cultural objects.

The objects in this collection place New Zealand within the context of the wider world. They demonstrate different lifestyles, and, in their diversity,  provide a background that helps define our own heritage and our bicultural and multicultural nation.

The collection forms a research resource for the understanding of cultural change. It relates well to the school curriculums and has an increasing use for students of university and polytechnic degree courses. The objects in the collection have a high potential for thematic displays and are a loan resource for other museums.


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