How to… DNA Test the Treaty

Saturday 10 August, 10:30 am - 12pm

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Tour Te Papa’s genetics lab, learn about DNA tests that have been done on the Treaty of Waitangi and discover the history of it’s conservation.

Photo: Archives New Zealand

Archives New Zealand Conservator Anna Whitehead and National Library Collection Care Leader Peter Whitehead with evolutionary biologist Lara Shepherd from Te Papa will present on new research they have recently undertaken on the Treaty of Waitangi. They will discuss the conservation history of the Treaty parchments as well as the results of DNA tests they have performed on the Treaty and how this will inform future conservation efforts. A tour of the Te Papa genetics lab and a discussion about parchment preparation and conservation will follow the talk.

Lara Shepherd is an evolutionary biologist in the Natural History team at Te Papa. She uses DNA sequencing to study the relationships of New Zealand’s plants and animals. Recently she has become interested in using DNA methods to investigate the biological components of cultural objects

Peter Whitehead ACR FIIC is Collection Care leader at the Alexander Turnbull Library. He has thirty year experience specialising in the conservation of books and manuscripts including parchment . From 2012-2017 he was a  member of the conservation team that planned and prepared The Treaty of Waitangi for the He Tohu exhibition.

Anna Whitehead, Archives NZ conservator since 2015, worked as Conservation Manager at Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library/Kent Archives Service in the UK, having previously had her own paper and book conservation business for many years. In her present job, Anna is lead conservator for Archives NZ of the documents in the He Tohu exhibition – Treaty of Waitangi, Declaration of Independence and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition.


Attendees will be split into 4 groups for the tours and morning tea will be provided.

Please note: This session will take place at Te Papa’s Tory Street facility. This is 169 Tory Street, between Havana coffee and the war memorial park.

How to… sessions are designed to share the amazing knowledge and talents of Te Papa’s staff. Speakers will share the work they do and how they do it.

Includes refreshments


Member - DNA Treaty$25.00

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Non Member - DNA Treaty$30.00

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Student - DNA Treaty$28.00

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Friends of Te Papa
(04) 381 7051
2019-08-10 10:30:00 2019-08-10 12:00:00 Pacific/Wallis How to… DNA Test the Treaty A Friends of Te Papa event. More details: Friends of Te Papa