There are 45 volcanoes with ongoing eruptions as of today across the world. From the Saunders and Erebus volcanoes in Antarctica to Klyuschevskoy in Russia and Popocatepeti in Mexico.

Living with volcanoes is an everyday part of people’s existence in many global communities, and our museums contain artefacts and archives that evidence their natural and supernatural power. These stories and the mountains of which they speak are dramatic reminders of forces shaping the planet we live on, and the ultimate pinprick of our presence upon it.

Hinemihi o te Ao Tawhito meeting house at Te Wairoa, after the Mt Tarawera eruption. C19th (10 June 1886). Alexander Turnbull Library

The 1880s was a decade for major volcanic eruptions across the globe. Only three years after Krakatoa, in 1886, a catastrophic eruption took place on the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. In this week’s contribution, Max Robertson takes a look at the famous eruption of Mount Tarawera.

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