Toitū Otago Settlers Museum collection reflects the people, events, history and growth of the Otago province from before the time of European settlement to the present day.

The approximately 100,000 items contained in its collection include artwork, textiles, furniture, archives, memorabilia, transport and technology. You can explore highlights from the collection here and further highlights will be added periodically.

Highlights from our collection

Furniture

The Museum’s furniture collection includes pieces from both the 19th and 20th centuries, many of them fashioned by local craftspeople.

Costume

The Museum has a large collection of costume – especially women’s dresses and baby wear. This selection of dresses is drawn from the Museum’s 2003 exhibition 'Fabulous Frocks' and the 2008 sequel 'Fabulous Frocks 2'.

Art

Perspectives of Dunedin and Otago in the Victorian era, along with portraits of settlers, make up the bulk of the Museum’s art collection. Artists represented include the Valpys, George O’Brien, Thomas Robertson, John Irvine, Peter Power, Christopher Aubrey and many more.

Textiles

A highlight of the Museum’s textile holdings is its collection of samplers. The samplers in this selection were displayed in the 2007 exhibition 'Stitched in Time', following conservation in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Search for any words describing an object or person


Archival Enquiries

The Archives are open Monday to Friday, 1pm to 4pm, except public holidays. Admission is $12 per day but free to members of the Otago Settlers Association and students. We encourage you to make an appointment.

Email: osm.archives@dcc.govt.nz
Phone: 03 474 2721

General Collection Enquiries

If you are interested in viewing materials not currently on display please make an appointment with the Registrar. There may be restrictions on access and the number of visitors able to visit at once, please contact us for more information.

Claire Orbell
Email: Claire.Orbell@dcc.govt.nz
Phone: 03 474 2734

Loan Requests

We do consider lending some collection items to other institutions. If you are interested in borrowing items for an exhibition, please contact the Registrar. We do not provide props for film or television production.

Claire Orbell
Email: Claire.Orbell@dcc.govt.nz
Phone: 03 474 2734