Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 4 pm, Weekends and Public Holidays 10am – 2pm.

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 4 pm, Weekends and Public Holidays 10am – 2pm.

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Our Cambridge Collection has changing exhibitions about Cambridge.  Much of our collection is in storage to ensure its preservation for future generations.


Buckingham Photography Collection, 1960s -1980s

From the 1960s, over a period of nearly thirty years, Reg Buckingham was unrivalled as a photojournalist of Cambridge events and scenes. Today, his images are considered of national importance and can be found in Te Papa, the Auckland Art Gallery as well as the Cambridge Museum.

Over 16,000 negatives were donated to Cambridge Museum by Reg Buckingham’s wife Betty in 1986. A digitization project is underway and Reg Buckingham’s photograph are being published on Digital NZ (click here).


Introducing photographer Reg Buckingham

He began by photographing horse racing and was soon given access to the racecourse towers to take photos at each race meeting.  His son Gary says that he particularly enjoyed photographing horse racing, military subjects, scenery and the circus coming to Cambridge.  He remembers a trip to Auckland as a child, where his father rose at 5 am to take photos of fishing boats leaving the Auckland Harbour at sunrise.

Buckingham set up a processing system in his garage, and developed, printed and/or enlarged all his photos himself.  He gave many of his photos to the people he photographed.  Soon his photos were being used by the Waikato Independent.  Carole Hughes, a reporter at the time, describes Buckingham as “self-effacing, warm – a real gentleman”.  She remembers his mentoring Brent Boulton, the paper’s official photographer.

Despite a limp caused by a war injury, he was not inactive.  As a member of the Waikato Speleology Club, he was discovering caves in the Waitomo/ Te Kuiti region, entering these new caves by means of ropes and ladders.  He was a life member and patron of the Cambridge Yacht Club, a member of the

Kihikihi Speedway and a non-playing member of the Cambridge Municipal Brass Band.  He was for many years involved with the Cambridge Historical Society, producing prints of the town’s earliest photos.

He passed away in 1986 at the age of 72.

According to son Gary, photography helped Reg Buckingham forget what he’d been through in Egypt during the Second World War.