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Exhibition: Rust + Restoration – He Waikura He Whakauka

Stories of Rescue: From the Archives of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Some of the images received in the Thomas H Whetton collection were irretrievable. Nitrate film with rusty can. Photo: Kurt Otzen. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

The journey to restore and preserve Thomas Henry Whetton’s work is showcased in Rust + Restoration | He Waikura He Whakauka, an exhibition at the Te Puna Foundation Gallery at the National Library Building.

When a stack of rusty, dust-covered film cans arrived at Ngā Taonga, it was a surprise to find much of the film inside was in great condition. The films were from the collection of Thomas H. Whetton, freelance cameraman and inventor. Quality footage showing the immediate aftermath of the 1931 Napier earthquake was a major highlight of his work. 


This is one example of the crucial work done by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the audiovisual archive for Aotearoa. 

This exhibition explores how Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s expert archivists preserved this and other taonga.

Running between 11 October 2019 to 22 February 2020, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm, Saturday at Te Puna Foundation Gallery, National Library Building, 70 Molesworth Street, Wellington, Rust + Restoration – He Waikura He Whakauka is a must attend exhibition. 

Exhibition Details 

Ntsv Rr Logo Print

Ngā Taonga thanks Te Puna Foundation for their support of this exhibition.

Here is a glimpse into how Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision preserves film. 

We collect and catalogue film reels, video tapes, sound records, props and documents and store them in climate controlled vaults. Our experts work against time to preserve original nitrate film, television broadcast tapes and sound recordings, before they degrade. We digitally preserve audiovisual material to ensure that it stands the test of time for future generations.

"Our recent audiovisual history could be lost forever. Let's ensure that hundreds of thousands of hours of New Zealand broadcasting remain accessible for future generations." 

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