Our Collection began almost fifty years ago when bound volumes of The Lyttelton Times were relieved of a few hastily-stashed takeaways. Now it has grown to include more than 20000 objects, photographs and archival resources donated by the people of Lyttelton, the wider harbour community, and beyond. With our collection, we tell stories unique to Lyttelton/Whakaraupō over six key themes: Mana Whenua, Colonial Canterbury, Lyttelton Local, Maritime, Antarctic, and Lyttelton by Nature
View our collection online! You might know more about one of our objects; please tell us in the comments section!
The Fletcher Series is a collection of historical photographs and clippings collated by C.M. Fletcher, who lived in Cressy Terrace, Lyttelton. Spread over three albums, the content is grouped by topic, and includes many photographs of port activity, often enhanced with Fletcher’s own annotations.
In addition to being Lyttelton’s well-known and well-liked ‘Little Doctor’, Dr Charles H. Upham was also a keen portrait artist. Lyttelton Museum holds more than 200 of Dr Upham’s watercolours, many of which are wry observations of prominent local figures, sometimes including verse.
As manager of the Harbour, the Lyttelton Harbour Board wielded major influence in the town for over a century, before being disestablished through local government reform in 1989. Lyttelton Museum holds multiple items that were donated by the Harbour Board or relate to their activities, including records, diving and wharf equipment, and a very impressive chair.
Donations from generous individuals, groups and organisations have made our collection what it is today, and we always welcome the chance to discuss a potential donation.
We collect based on an item’s connection to the Lyttelton/Whakaraupo area, and how it ties in with our six collection themes. We also take into account the condition of an object, whether it is already represented in our collection, and whether we are sure we can care for it.
Donating items to Te Ūaka
Donations will be considered where they clearly match the following selection criteria:
a) The item is directly related to a person, group or event in the history of Whakaraupo Lyttelton Harbour, that is:
b) The item is relevant to the history of the peoples of the area.
c) The item is indirectly related to the history of area. That is:
It’s a little more difficult for us to accept material while the collection is in storage, but we are happy to talk about whether it is possible to take an object now or in the future.
If you have something you’d like to offer for donation, please get in touch!
Looking to donate funds?
Continue your journey here.