Dive into the collections

Explore 800,000 artworks, taonga, photographs, collection objects, and botanical and zoological specimens from Te Papa’s collections. Learn about different cultures – or your own! – or find inspiration for your own artworks.

Collections Online is how you can spend time with Aotearoa’s taonga from the comfort of your bed.

What are you interested in? Dinosaur teeth? Contemporary art? Buzzy beeXena? (Cats obviously.)

Our collection areas cover Taonga MāoriPacific CulturesNew Zealand HistoryPhotographyArtBotany, and Zoology. These topics are complemented by over 190,000 images, with over 60,000 available for high-resolution download.

How to search on Collections Online

Whether you want to find photos of cats, dive into contemporary art, or browse scientific specimens, How to search on Collections Online offers lots of tips to help you get what you want (so long as we have it in our collection!).

Photo montage of two people standing on an icy crevasse, one has the head of a dog with its tongue hanging out and the other has an enlarged head of a woman with the dog’s tongue hanging out of her mouth. They have swapped eyes


Image comprised of Two people on a glacier, date unknown, photographer unknown. Te Papa (A.015014) and Portraits and country scenes, Waipukurau, 1940, by Eric Lee-Johnson. Te Papa (E.001670)


How people are using Te Papa’s collection images

Paris Collage Collective are a group that “through collaborations and creative projects ... want to help build meaningful connections between likeminded people that go further than likes and shares”. They post new, frequently surreal and humorous submissions each day, and often use our collection items.

Paris Collage Collective

Colourising black and white photographs from the collections

Arotahi | Focus – a ‘slowing viewing’ experience

Use the slow movement of the images as a meditative experience, or a new way to appreciate the detail of some the collections’ images. Try it on your phone with headphones, or with a group on a big screen.

Explore Arotahi | Focus at bit.ly/Arotahi

More information on how Arotahi works

So what are you waiting for? This puppy needs company.


A bunch of men let go of dogs to start a race


Dog race, 1920-1935, photographer unknown. Te Papa (A.016229)