Kaikoura earthquake update
The building is open
The National Library’s Wellington building is open to all. Our opening hours are Monday to Saturday:
- Te Ahumairangi: 8.30am – 5pm
- Reading Rooms: 10am – 5pm
Important notice for researchers
We are pleased to announce that most of the collections are now accessible and able to be ordered.
Due to the Kaikoura earthquakes many of our collections were not accessible while we assessed the safety of the collection stores. While this work is now largely complete, small areas of the collection stores remain closed as we finalise the programme of work required for the continued safety of our staff and collections.
We apologise for any ongoing inconvenience this may cause.
This page will be updated as more collections become available again.
Last updated 3/07/17
The following collections remain unavailable for a period of time:
- Alexander Turnbull Library microfilm collections beginning with “Micro-MS-Coll”
- Some of the Alexander Turnbull Library paper copy newspaper collection (please check with staff)
- All English modern (16th century) books on microfilm
- All 18th Century books microfilm reels
- Photographic: Cased Photographs (reference number PA10)
- Map aperture cards
Thank you for your patience.
1. Why were the National Library collection stores closed?
The majority of the collection stores were closed as a precautionary measure while we sought reassurance on the safety of the stores in the event of another serious earthquake. The safety of the staff who work in these areas is of paramount concern to us, along with the security of the collections.
2. Are the collections ok?
Yes. Collection fall resulting from the Kaikoura earthquake and subsequent shakes was modest. While a small amount of material fell off some shelves, no items were substantially damaged. There was no loss of collections.
3. Why were the collections opened again and then closed?
Most onsite collections were accessible when the Library reopened to the public on November 28, 2016. However, a close inspection of the collection stores raised questions about how the shelving would continue to perform in the event of further serious earthquakes. Subsequently, many collection store areas were closed again on December 16, 2016. To address those questions, we commissioned professional advice from a specialist engineer. We reopened most of the collection stores based on this analysis.
4. Is there somewhere else I can get the information I need for my research?
If you’re seeking information from collections that are still unavailable, it is possible that other libraries, archives or museums may be able to assist. There are also significant numbers of items available online. We may be able to help redirect you to alternative sources. Please contact us via our Ask a Librarian service to find out more.
5. When will the rest of the collections become accessible?
We are unable to provide exact dates at this stage. More collections will become available as we work our way through addressing the few remaining areas that are not accessible. Please contact us via our Ask a Librarian service if you have a specific request.
6. When and where can I find out more?
We will provide regular updates via this page on our website.