History of Charlotte

Since 2000 a group of women discussed how to preserve the many lesbian cultural objects such as labrys, paintings, ceramics, glass and badge collections. The Wellington based Lesbian and Gay Archives (LAGANZ) were unable to accommodate objects so something new was needed to fill this gap. The concept of a museum trust was strongly supported.

The name developed from the idea of celebrating ordinary lesbians. Charlotte Prime was a regular member in the 1970’s of the KG Club and had recently died of a heart attack. She was an ordinary lesbian, quiet and unassuming, who lived out her identity in difficult times. Another lesbian member of the KG Club was Charlotte Smith who had also just passed, of cancer. Hence the name Charlotte was chosen.

The Charlotte Museum Trust was registered as a trust on the 7th of May 2007 with it’s initial trustees being Dr Miriam Saphira, Nicola Jackson and Christine Hammerton. The first expo was done in 2007 at ‘The D Thing’ which was held at the Marco Trust building on Newton Rd.

The initial collection was held by Miriam Saphira which was catalogued with the help of Sarah Buxton and moved into a large room in a heritage building on Surry Crescent in Auckland.

In March 2011 the trust applied to National Services Te Paerangi Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to achieve the National Museum Standards which the trust passed with an outstanding peer comment for our customer service.