Michelle Smith

Hawkes Bay

Having completed a BA (History and Education) in 1999 and a BA Honours (History) in 2005, at the University of Auckland, and worked in the disability sector for a number of years, I went back to university on a doctoral scholarship. In 2009, I completed my PhD, ‘Assessing Gender in the Construction of Scottish Identity c.1286-c.1586’, which was conferred in September 2010.

Alongside my specialist subjects of medieval and Scottish history, I have an interest in Aotearoa/New Zealand History (local and general), social history, gender history, military history, pandemic history, and disability history. I am also a keen genealogist.

Since completing my PhD, I have worked on a number of contracts including special projects for the Papakura Museum, the Kate Edger Education Charitable Trust, the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust, and extramural marking for Massey University. I was awarded 6-month post-doctoral scholarship from KEECT which allowed me to do extensive research on the early colonial families of the Papakura District – this is still a project in progress.

In 2012 I took on a part-time role as Historian at the Papakura Museum before being employed as the museum’s Curator year later; a position I held until June 2018 when I relocated to Hawke’s Bay.

I am now a fully self-employed historian/researcher. I have worked on a number of private contracts including a First World War family book project; a magazine series of articles on Captain James Cook; research on Kahuranaki Station, Hawke’s Bay; proof-reading contracts; genealogical research; and the editing of a forthcoming local history book.

Website: https://michelleasmith.co.nz/

Recent articles can be found via: https://www.elocal.co.nz/Articles/by/Dr-Michelle-Ann-Smith

Michelle Ann Smith, Our Story: Papakura Croquet Club 1917-2017, Papakura, 2017.
Michelle Ann Smith, ‘Open All Hours’: Main Street Papakura, c. 1865-c. 1938, 2nd Edition, Papakura, 2016.
Michelle Ann Smith, About Town, Papakura Heritage Walk, Papakura, 2016
Michelle Ann Smith, Thirteen Ships: Waikato Immigration Scheme, Papakura Cemetery Heritage Walk, Papakura, 2015
‘ Thinking About Magic in Medieval and Early Modern Europe,’ T. Adams, K. Olsen and M.A. Smith, Parergon, 30, 2, 2013.
Michelle Ann Smith, Digging up the Past: Papakura Cemetery Heritage Walk, Papakura, 2013.
Michelle Ann Smith, ‘Open All Hours’: Main Street Papakura, c. 1865-c. 1938, Papakura, 2011.
”A Wedow in Distress’: Personifying Scotland’, in E. Ewan, J. Campbell and H. Parker, eds, The Shaping of Scottish Identities: Family, Nation and the World Beyond, University of Guelph, 2011.
‘Gendering the Foundation Myths of Scotland’, in P. O’Neill, ed., Celts in Legend and Reality: Proceedings of the Sixth Celtic Conference, University of Sydney, 2010.
Book Review, Spinks, Jennifer, Monstrous Births and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Germany (Religious Cultures in the Early Modern World 5), London, Pickering and Chatto, 2009, Parergon, 27, 1, 2010.
Book Review, Ewan, Elizabeth and Janay Nugent, eds, Finding the Family in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World), Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008, Parergon, 26, 1, 2009, pp. 219-221.
Book Review, Davis, Kathleen, Periodization and Sovereignty: How Ideas of Feudalism and Secularization Govern the Politics of Time (Middle Ages series), Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008, Parergon, 25, 2, 2008, pp. 141-143.
Neuromuscular Disorders (2), New Zealand Family Physician, 28, 3, June 2001, pp. 7-8.
Neuromuscular Disorders (1), New Zealand Family Physician, 28, 2, April 2001, pp. 19-22.


  • Compiling bibliographies
  • Curatorial advice
  • Editing
  • Exhibition preparation
  • Heritage trail preparation
  • Oral history
  • Photographic research
  • Proof-reading
  • Public speaking
  • Research
  • Tour guiding
  • Writing


  • Family
  • Gender
  • Genealogy
  • Health and medical
  • Local
  • Museums
  • Regional
  • Women