3 Dec 2013

Auckland Navy Museum unearths historic Pacific images

10:25 pm on 3 December 2013

A number of historical images taken of the Pacific in the 1940s and 50s have come out of obscurity, many to be seen by the public for the first time.

The Navy Museum in Auckland is sorting through the collection of the late Auckland photographer Tudor Collins, who went on several Navy trips to the Pacific Islands during the 1940's and 50s.

Up until recently, Tudor Collins' boxes of glass plate negatives had sat in storage in a garage for over 40 years.

The Navy Museum's photographic archivist, Paul Restall, says he has been working through the images, which he describes as a remarkable discovery.

"It's like unfolding the pages from the past, because when we open a box of glass plates we really have no idea at all what we're going to find and out come these amazing images and it's almost like the people coming to life through these dusty old glass plates."

Paul Restall says the images include welcoming ceremonies, traditional costume and dance, feasts, sports, kava making and pictures of families in villages.