Treasured photos and artefacts donated by Kaikoura residents will go on show as part of a new exhibition to mark a year since the deadly earthquake.

The Kaikoura Museum was expecting to open five days before the 7.8 quake that struck on November 14 last year.

The site instead became a makeshift Civil Defence centre due to its sturdy structure.

Since then, the museum described as a "mini Te Papa" held an exhibition called Aftermath, which showcased a series of post-quake photographs in black and white.

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Museum manager Stephanie Lange told NZH Focus their new exhibition called New Normal is set to open to the public on December 15.

"We've over the last sort of few months been getting the community to contribute to that through photographs and objects and we've offered people the opportunity to create their own little exhibition within the formal exhibition."

Lange says it's been tough keeping its doors open since the quake.

"We haven't had many people come through the doors but the work out the back has continued," she says.

"We've had a lot more people donating items to the museum after the earthquake. People wanted to make sure their family treasures and historical items were looked after."