Natural history museums are changing, both because of their own internal development and in response to changes in context. Historically, the aim of collecting from nature was to develop encyclopedic assemblages to satisfy human curiosity and build a basis for taxonomic information. Today, with global biodiversity in rapid decline, there are new reasons to build and maintain collections, while audiences are more diverse, numerous, and technically savvy. Institutions must learn to embrace new technology while retaining the authenticity of their stories and the value placed on their objects.
The Future of Natural History Museums begins to develop a cohesive discourse that balances the disparate issues that our institutions will face over the next decades. It disassembles the topic into various key elements and, through commentary and synthesis, explores a cohesive picture of the trajectory of the natural history museum sector.
This book contributes to the study of collections, teaching and learning, ethics, and running nonprofit businesses and will be of interest to museum and heritage professionals and academics and senior students in Biological Sciences and Museum Studies.
Download a publisher’s brochure here. FMNH brochure
Intangible Natural Heritage (Routledge 2011)The topic of intangible natural heritage is new, recently emerging as an important subject of inquiry. It describes the untouchable elements of the environment that combine to create natural objects, and help define our relationship to them. This book presents a spectrum of opinion, from Europe, Asia, Australasia, Britain, and North America, available from Amazon, at this link.
Melting Point (Penguin 2008) This book examines the global warming issue in a specifically New Zealand context. What will be the effect of climate change on New Zealand’s natural environment, our coastlines, our agriculture, our industries, our public health, our infrastructure? What are the potential social and psychological implications? How will ordinary people be affected? Read a review of the book at this link.
Sanctuary: New Zealand’s Spectacular Nature Reserves (Penguin 2006). While most wildlife reserves are inaccessible to the average person, this beautiful book gives us a glimpse of the treasures that such places protect and nourish. From the kakapo of Codfish Island to the endangered frogs of Stephen Island and the inner-city sanctuary of Karori, Wellington, Sanctuary showcases the unique birds, fish, reptiles, and plants of New Zealand. View the book online here.
Der Asbscheid (The Parting) is a humorous short story for children, published in 2006 as part of Hideous and Hilarious: 30 New Zealand Historical Stories (Random House). It concerns a young girl moving from her native Germany in the 1860s, being introduced to Maori legends by her beloved fairytale characters. It is available through Amazon at this link.