Cats are a popular pet for the people of Christchurch with 45% of households owning at least one. Explore this set to see some cats from our collection that are dressed up, on show, being rescued or just hanging out.
The streetscape of central Christchurch has changed over the centuries, from wooden cottages to high rise buildings. However, the predictability of the original grid layout designed by colonial planners has been somewhat altered by the post-earthquake recovery work.
Visits to Santa, playground games, carnivals and building snowmen; the life of children in Christchurch and Canterbury has never been dull. Explore a selection from our collection that showcases the activities of childhood throughout the decades. You might find your younger self included!
The first cricket match in Christchurch, intended to be held on 4 October 1851, was postponed due to bad weather. That didn't stop the game from becoming an integral part of Canterbury's sporting life. From Hagley Oval and suburban parks to our own backyards, explore the many matches that have been played throughout the history of the city.
The flat, straight roads of Christchurch have made it an ideal city to get around by bicycle. Cycling has been been both a form of transport and exercise for the people of Canterbury for well over a century. A magazine dedicated to cycling, the New Zealand Wheelman, was published in Christchurch between 1892 and 1902.
The Thomas Edmonds’ Band Rotunda on Cambridge Terrace was built in 1929 as part of the River Bank Improvement Scheme. After the decline of public band performances, the rotunda eventually became a restaurant in 1985. The rotunda was damaged during the Canterbury Earthquakes but work to rebuild it commenced in 2019.
There has been a surprising amount of elephants in Christchurch over time, both real and fake. In December 1966 an elephant race was even held in Papanui. Explore this set to see a few from our collection.
It is not just children who dress up in costume in Christchurch. Theatrical performances, celebrations and event promotions are just some of the reasons adults have also donned fancy dress. Explore a selection of these costumes from our collection.
Farming has played a crucial role in the development of the Canterbury region and the city of Christchurch. From agriculture to dairy, from rural to market gardens, explore a selection of photographs from our collection that depict the farming industry.
From the runway to the shop window, Christchurch has produced many fashion designers and models. Explore a selection of photographs from our collection that depict the contributions the city has made to the fashion industry.
The history of human settlement on the Canterbury plains has often been marked by numerous floods. Even with modern utilities areas of Christchurch city can still experience flooding. Explore a selection of photographs that depict the ways in which people have tried to make the best of such situations.
As the garden city, it is fitting that Christchurch has hosted numerous flower festivals over the decades. Explore a selection of photographs that show the creative ways in which people have put flowers to use.
From the central city to quiet suburban parks, fountains can be found throughout Christchurch. Some, such as the Peacock Fountain, have heritage significance, while others are known for their unique, modern designs. Explore a selection of these fountains, some of which have disappeared from the city's streetscape.
The oldest golf club in Christchurch is the Hagley Golf Club, established in 1873. Since then, various clubs have opened throughout the wider city and Canterbury. Many of the golf balls used throughout New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s may have been produced at a factory in Woolston.
Even in an age when a postcard might take months to get to its destination, Christchurch was worthy of writing home about. Many of the historic postcards found in our collection capture a cityscape that has long since vanished.
A hāngi is a traditional Māori method of cooking food underground using hot stones. Explore a selection of photographs from our collection that showcase the preparation of kai in our local communities.
Originally a source of mahinga kai for Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu, the Ōpāwaho-Heathcote River is one of two significant rivers in the city of Christchurch. Explore a selection of photographs that depict the river throughout the decades.