Category:Private Collections

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Private Collections

Private artefact collections are a feature of New Zealand archaeology right up until the present. Many of the artefacts were aquired by presentation or purchase and these are still ways of their accumulation today. In the past, when found Maori artefacts were personal property, fossicking was a way of accumulation.

Samson (2003) gives an insight into the motivations and behaviours of collectors who operated in Otago.

Many of these collections have found their way to museums, in whole or in part, after dispersal.

Some collections of European artefacts - particularly of bottles - have grown the same way. The advent of the protection of archaeological sites dating from before 1900 AD under the Heritage New Zealand Act has limited some sources, but many found European objects are still finding their way to private collections.

This category is to highlight some of the important collections which are part of our historic heritage.


Samson, J. O. 2003. Cultures of collecting: Maori curio collecting in Murihiku, 1865-1975 A dissertation submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.