Leather-bound books on bookshelf.

Registering and requesting

The Reading Rooms are open under COVID-19 Alert Level 2. See our COVID-19 page for more information.

Coming in on a Saturday to research? Plan ahead and request items you want to use by 4pm on Friday. Orders made on Saturday aren't delivered until Monday.

Most of the collections are kept safe in storage, but they can be retrieved at your request. You need to be registered with us to request items. Find out how to register as a reader so you can request items from our published and unpublished collections.

On this page

Register as a reader so you can request collection items

You need to register as a reader to request collection items. There are different processes for requesting:

  • published material (collections on the National Library catalogue), or
  • unpublished (collections on Tiaki).

Published material — registration

Published material includes books, journals, newspapers, and more.

  • Complete the 'Register to use the National Library Catalogue' form.
  • Once you've completed the form come in to the Library, show us some photo ID, and you’ll be able to request published items from the National Library catalogue for viewing in the Reading Rooms.

Register to use the National Library Catalogue

Unpublished material — registration

Unpublished material includes photographs, manuscripts, drawings, oral histories, and more.

  • You’ll need a RealMe account to register to view unpublished material — you can use your existing RealMe account, or create one from Tiaki.
  • On the Tiaki homepage click Login or register and follow the instructions to use your RealMe account or make a new one.
  • Click Continue to go to the Tiaki registration page.
  • Fill in the registration form and you’re done.

Once you have completed this registration process you’ll be able to request unpublished material from Tiaki for viewing in the Reading Rooms.

Tiaki homepage

How to request items

Once you are registered as a reader you can request published and unpublished material and view them in the Reading Rooms.

Request published material

To request published material held at the Library:

  • go to the National Library catalogue
  • sign in — link is in the top right hand corner
  • search the catalogue
  • select the item you want to request
  • click 'Request'
  • complete the request information
  • click 'Request'
  • sign out once you've finished requesting.

You can request up to 10 items at a time.

National Library catalogue

Request unpublished material

To request unpublished material held at the Library:

  • go to Tiaki
  • login using RealMe
  • search the catalogue
  • select the item you want to request
  • click 'Request item'
  • 'close' the box
  • click 'current request' — left hand of screen
  • fill in 'date required', 'comment' and then 'complete request'
  • click 'Close'
  • logout once you've finished requesting — top right hand corner.

You can request up to 10 items at a time.

Tiaki homepage

Requesting access to restricted collections

You will need to make an appointment for any items from the collections that are restricted or have handling requirments. We may need to check with the curator. Time frames may differ depending on the items requested and the type of access conditions.

Examples of items this could apply to include:

  • drawings, paintings, and prints
  • rare books and fine printing
  • ephemera
  • cartographic items, and
  • oral history.

Access to restricted collections

Delivery times for material you have requested

Collection items are brought to the Reading Rooms throughout the day Monday to Friday.

General Reading Room weekday deliveries

If you request an item It will be delivered at
From 10am Approximately 30 minutes from the time ordered
After 4.30pm 10.00am the next day except Saturday

Katherine Mansfield Reading Room weekday deliveries

Please note that the deadline for ordering is 90 minutes before the next delivery.

If you request an item by Your item will be delivered at
8.30am 10.00am
10.30am 12.00 noon
12.00 noon 1.30pm
1.30pm 3.00pm
3.00pm 4.30pm
After 3pm 10.00am the following day except Saturday

Requesting items for Saturday

If you are requesting items from our collections for your visit on Saturday, plan ahead and order them before 4pm on Friday.

Requests made on Saturday won't be delivered until Monday.