Spending months at sea aboard merchant ships was an ordeal for many – death and sickness often marred such voyages, but the story of Henry Knight and his family’s journey aboard the clipper Merope in 1879 shows a more hopeful side of the nineteenth century immigrant experience.
As the one responsible for the archives at Ashburton museum, it is my job to assess, catalogue, and preserve documentary material that holds historical significance to our town and district. I spend some days answering requests from the community regarding family history, while the rest of my time comprises of caring for the collection, working... Continue Reading →
The Ashburton Museum collection includes all sorts of rare and common objects, and all have potential to tell interesting stories. But what can one humble, and once ubiquitous Marmite jar tell us about both the past and today?
People are always trying to predict and speculate on the future – it’s often more important to us than the present. Whether we are thinking ahead at work, checking the weather, or making financial decisions, the future is always on our minds. The distant future, too, is often the subject of much discussion and thought,... Continue Reading →
If our past exhibitions at Ashburton Museum can highlight how a magnificent story can come from just one object, this is particularly true with the Radiant Hall exhibition. While Meet You At the Radiant Hall ran way back in 2017, we were once again reminded of it with our exhibition, Ashburton: Feels Like Home from... Continue Reading →
Among the staff at Ashburton Museum are many volunteers who undertake various roles. Some act as receptionists, welcoming and assisting visitors with our popular programs, activities and research enquiries. Others help care for collections. A few transcribe records to provide access to fragile or interesting items that it would otherwise become damaged by use. Transcribing... Continue Reading →
One never knows what will be donated to Ashburton Museum and last year a rather large and old piece of canvas was brought in, which contained a number of seaman’s discharge papers and letters dating from the 1860s that once belonged to Robert William Shearman. The canvas and papers turned out to be an important... Continue Reading →
Although we haven’t really experienced the bitterly cold conditions of recent winters, for many people June isn’t the most enjoyable month of the year. Cooler weather and shorter days mean there isn’t much to get excited about this month, but for many cultures June brings a great deal of activity. Members of our Muslim community... Continue Reading →
The team at Ashburton Museum are always on the lookout for new ways to tell heritage stories, or quirky ways to share the identity of this district. One way we really like to do this is to crowd source our exhibition content. We get to discover the clever things that local people do or make,... Continue Reading →
One of our popular exhibitions from last year was Make, Do and Mend. It promoted the idea of recycling and reusing items in clever ways. Today these principles are part of a philosophy of reducing waste to save the planet. In the past, however, people made, mended or reused items because it made economic... Continue Reading →