Sally's on-the-road diary - June 2013 

Sally August

Over the last couple of months, I’ve visited a number of staff and volunteers at their museums and galleries in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and on the East Coast.

As is often the case when I’m on the road visiting museums or in my Gisborne office, I answer queries about any number of museum matters. With the wonderful National Services Te Paerangi resources at hand, and the kind support of experts from Te Papa, I’m able to provide information and best practice advice.  

Over the last few months, I’ve fielded a few questions regarding preventive conservation and monitoring equipment for smaller museums. Thanks to the expertise of Tony Clark, Te Papa Preventive Conservator, we were able to provide a quick guide about environmental monitoring equipment.

If your museum team has been wondering which environmental monitoring equipment to investigate, then this pros-and-cons list offers a quick guide:

Data logger pros

  • A logger will gather data that can be downloaded using a laptop. Data gathering will continue for months unattended.
  • The small size makes them easy to place in difficult to access areas.
  • Cost depends on the model, but may be around $400 to $500, plus cables etc (total $1100 approx). There are cheaper models for around $250, but they don’t have any back-up.

Data logger cons

  • You will need a software package to download the information to a computer, therefore everyone will need to know how to use it.
  • The graphs often need to be reconfigured to understand the data when downloaded.
  • The battery will need to be checked every 2 to 3 years or the logger will suddenly stop and you won't be aware of it, maybe losing the data.
  • Recalibration has to be done by the supplier. A new battery can cost around $100. 
  • Unless the logger has LCD display, spot readings (current conditions) cannot be taken until downloaded.

Where you can get them
Hach Pacific supplies Gemini Tinytag data loggers, which are used by Te Papa.

Thermohygrograph pros

  • They are old technology, but can still be purchased for around $1700.
  • RH and temp trends are easy to see by simply looking at the chart.
  • They need to have their calibration checked at least 6 monthly, but this does not drift that much (eight of Te Papa’s thermohygrographs have not been more than 1 to 3 percent out of calibration for over 20 years).
  • They are easy to use.
  • Charts can be changed by anybody after a few minutes instruction.

Thermohygrograph cons

  • They are old technology, therefore charts and pens may become difficult to purchase (they are still readily available fromThe Metshop, Wellington).
  • The large size means they are not easily hidden, though this is not a problem in a collection store.

Where you can get one

The Metshop, Wellington.

Please note that the information above is a simple guide only. If you’d like to find out more, please refer to National Services Te Paerangi’s free resource pages or contact one of our team.

National Services Te Paerangi resources
National Services Te Paerangi conservation resources

Two must-reads for any museum or gallery staff that might have questions about preventative conservation or collection care: 

If you have any questions on a museum matter or are unable to locate the information you need, please feel free to call our freephone helpline 0508 NSTP HELP (0508 678 743) or email us on We look forward to hearing from you.

On the road around the North Island

Kauri Museum

The Kauri Museum

Betty & Anna

Betty Nelley & Anna Beasley showing tThe Kauri Museum's war collections

The war memorabilia collections at The Kauri Museum have been wonderfully catalogued, re-housed, and digitised using eHive, and can now be viewed on NZMuseums. Anna Beasley, with some guidance from The Kauri Museum CEO Betty Nelley, has completed this project and many others with great success. If you’d like to see some of this work and their extensive collections, I’d recommend you check it out! You’ll find more than 3000 items catalogued (and counting!), with approximately 1000 of those items tagged as WWI and WWII.

Explore The Kauri Museum’s collection

In the lead up to the WWI centenary National Services Te Paerangi would like to see more of the war collections around the country being catalogued on to NZMuseums.

Contact us to sign up

If you’d like to keep abreast of some of the WWI commemorative events and activities happening around New Zealand, or would like to get involved, check out the WW100 site.

Visit the WW100 website

 Raglan Museum

Raglan and District Museum

I’d like to congratulate the Raglan and District Museum team on their lovely new building and recently opened surfing exhibition. For those that couldn’t make it to this year’s Museums Aotearoa conference and awards dinner – Raglan and District Museum was runner-up in the ‘Project Achievement Award – Significant Project’ category. Go Raglan, that’s a wonderful achievement! 

Find out more about Raglan Museum’s achievement
Explore Raglan Museum’s collection on NZMuseums

 Heritage Day Rangitikei Heritage Group 

Congratulations to the team of museums in the Rangitikei Heritage Cluster Group for producing a new 20 page brochure, and for co-ordinating the Rangitikei Heritage weekend – held on 18 and 19 May 2013 – this has received great local publicity!

Read all about it in the Manawatu Standard ...
and the Wanganui Chronicle

The Rangitikei Museums Cluster Group brochure project was supported by National Services Te Paerangi through our Strategic Project Grant. The National Services Te Paerangi team is looking forward to seeing the Strategic Project Grant applications for the upcoming grants round – open now!

Find out more about Strategic Project Grants
Watch a video case study about the Strategic Project Grant

Wallace GalleryWallace Gallery in the heart of Morrinsville              

If you’re in the Morrinsville area this winter, I’d suggest you check out their lovely community gallery – WallaceGallery. The Director, Leah Murphy, and her team of volunteers are showcasing many local and national artists.

Visit Morrinsville Art Gallery’s website

I’m looking forward to working with more of our museum and gallery colleagues soon, at your place!

Ngā mihi nui, nā
Sally August