Diary of an intern (part 2) – Christen McAlpine

By Christen McAlpine, Intern, National Services Te Paerangi

Christen McAlpine. Image: Te Papa.I have now come to the end of my internship with National Services Te Paerangi at Te Papa Tongarewa. This internship was offered through National Services’ Museum Graduate Internship Programme. My internship project was to revise the He Rauemi Resource Guide: Caring for Māori Textiles (Tiakitanga o te Kahu Āku) with the help of Te Papa Textile Conservator Rangi Te Kanawa. This was a great opportunity for me as I am relatively new to the museum field, having come from a background in archaeology, and it gave me the opportunity to view the inner workings and processes of a museum.

The completed He Rauemi Resource Guide: Caring for Māori Textiles (Tiakitanga o te Kahu Āku) has now been mailed out and is also available on the National Services Te Paerangi website, so go take a look. I am really happy with how it came out and want to thank everybody who contributed, especially Rangi Te Kanawa (who wrote the text and provided assistance with image selection) and my gracious cover model Āwhina Twomey of Whanganui Regional Museum.

The last half of my internship has allowed me to continue working with the fabulous National Services Te Paerangi team on a variety of tasks and projects. I have also had the opportunity to further tour Te Papa’s collections – the Māori and Pacific collections. The tour of the Māori collection was very special and such a highlight of my time here – a big thank you to Moana and Mark for allowing us the opportunity.

National Services Te Paerangi also had a great time touring the New Zealand Police Museum in Porirua. It was great to hear about how they dealt with the display and interpretation of objects that have such powerful and emotional significance.

It was also great to be able to attend the 2013 Museums Aotearoa Conference in Hamilton and learn about different perspectives of leadership within the museum community, hear about some of the exciting projects and exhibitions taking place throughout the country and meet a lot of great people.

Overall this internship has been a great experience that has taught me a lot about museums and museum practice and I wouldn’t change a second of it.