The Collection - Whakaputunga Taonga

In 1890 Samuel Drew offered his private collection to the town of Whanganui and in 1895 the Wanganui Public Museum opened, free to visitors, for the first time. From this founding collection, the Whanganui Regional Museum has developed an extensive collection of natural and human history with a Whanganui regional emphasis.

The collection encompasses:

  • Whanganui social history
  • Domestic and everyday wares
  • Transport and technology
  • Military life
  • Textiles and clothing
  • The animal world
  • The geological world
  • Taonga Māori
  • Pasifika cultures
  • World cultures
  • Art
  • Manuscripts and archives
  • Books and journals
  • Maps and plans

 Your chance to explore our collection

Delve into the past or look into the future.
Explore the Whanganui Regional Museum's extensive collection.

 

The Museum has a changing programme of exhibitions that highlight different parts of this stunning collection.


FEATURED PHOTO

This photograph of a double image of the Wanganui Public Museum Director, Samuel Drew, was taken using trick photography, which was very popular in the late 19th century. Needing new ideas to boost business, photographers developed techniques to duplicate images, particularly people. Special plate-holders and rotating partial lens caps were used to expose half of the negative at a time. After the first exposure, the subject of the photograph would quickly move into a different positron so that the second half of the picture could be taken.