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The Turnbull Library Pictures collection comprises photographic copies of original items from the Library’s pictorial collections.Turnbull Library Pictures You can order copies of most items in the Photographic Archive, providing copying doesn’t harm the original and there are no donor or copyright restrictions.
The emphasis is on collecting the most original format possible.
L-R: Ambrotype of Thomas Stewart Monkhouse, ca 1850s-1860s, taken by unidentified photographer, Ref: PA10-074│Auckland Harbour Bridge under construction, 1958, taken by Whites Aviation, Ref: WA-48875-G│Panguru relatives of Dame Whina Cooper at the Foreshore and Seabed Hikoi, 2004, taken by Dylan Owen, Ref: PADL-000075.
Since the 1970s photography has grown in public popularity and exhibitions regularly attract large audiences.
Mirroring overseas trends, art collectors were slow to accept the peculiarities of the photographic image in comparison with visual arts such as painting.
The Photographic Archive continues to grow as a visual record of the land and peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.
The Photographic Archive holds photographs taken by professional photographers as well as the work of ordinary New Zealanders who have documented their lives, families and communities.
New developments in photography soon made their way to our shores, with each allowing more people to pick up a camera and start making images.
In less than 200 years the medium has gone from unique copper-plate positives to endlessly reproducible digital bytes, via glass plates and numerous types of film.
The Photographic Archive was started in the late 1930s and forms part of the Alexander Turnbull Library collections.
Find out how to access images in the Photographic Archive, how to get copies and highlights of the Photographic Archive.