Welcome to the Tudor Collins Project.
So, who was Tudor Collins?
Among other things he was a bushman, a master mariner, a machine gunner, a
farmer, a business man and most importantly to this project, a great photographer.
He is probably best known for his beautiful photographs taken in the kauri forests of
Northland where he captured the clear-felling of our native Kauri forests.
He served in the Royal New Zealand Navy during world war two, photographed
many of the naval wartime activities around the coast of New Zealand and went on to
document many more significant occasions for the Navy during the 1940s and 1950s.
His photographs are definitely the best record of the New Zealand Navy during this
period and we are very aware of the importance of this collection.
Following his death in 1970, much of his glass plate negative collection was stored in
a garage on his nephew’s farm near Rotorua and it has finally surfaced after all these
years, due to the persistence of Gordon Maitland from the Auckland War Memorial
Working in collaboration with the AWMM, we are sorting through the collection
identifying which glass plates relate to the Royal New Zealand Navy and separating
them from the rest of the plates, to be cleaned, re-packed, digitised, catalogued and
added to the Navy Museum Photographic Archive.
The project began mid November and will probably take around six months to work
through the many thousands of images contained in the 100 transit boxes that
carried the collection from Rotorua to an empty hospital ward at the Devonport Navy
During the course of the project we will be regularly posting a selection of images as
they emerge from the dusty old boxes they have rested in for the past 70 odd years,
so stay tuned to this blog and watch our history unfold.