Athol McCredie began his involvement with curatorial work when in 1978 he co-curated an exhibition on the early-twentieth century amateur photographer Leslie Adkin. The success of this independent exhibition led to two and a half years employment at the National Art Gallery as Photography Curator and Graphic Designer.
Following ten years as a Freelance Researcher, Curator, Collection Manager and Photographer he became Art Curator (and subsequently acting director) at the Manawatu Art Gallery (now Te Manawa) in 1993. He joined Te Papa as an Art and Visual Culture Curator in 2001 and became Curator of Photography there in 2006.
His publications include Witness to change (co-authored with Janet Bayly, PhotoForum, 1985), Fields of golden daffodils (National Library of New Zealand, 1991), Brian Brake: Lens on the world (Te Papa Press, 2010), New Zealand photography collected (Te Papa Press, 2015) and editor of Ten x Ten: Art at Te Papa (Te Papa Press, 2017). At Te Papa he has curated Striking poses: New Zealand portrait photography (2003), Brian Brake: Lens on the world (2010), New Zealand photography collected (2016) and took a lead role on the development of Toi Te Papa: Art of the nation (2006). He has an MA in museum studies.