Close message
Skip to content

New Zealand Music, Sound, Audio-visual collection

L-R:  Rotorua Māori Choir, Hoea Ra Te Waka (1930); Les Wilson, The Otago Rambler (1957); Ross Harris, The Hills of Time (1983).
L-R: Rotorua Māori Choir, Hoea Ra Te Waka (1930); Les Wilson, The Otago Rambler (1957); Ross Harris, The Hills of Time (1983).

As of 2016, the New Zealand Music, Sound & Audio-visual Collection includes approximately: 

  • 31,000 music recordings
  • 7,000 scores and sheet music items
  • 4,500 videos and DVDs.

The Collection forms part of the New Zealand and Pacific Collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library. New items are added through legal deposit, purchase and donation.

Unpublished recordings, scores and papers are held in the Archive of New Zealand Music.

Unpublished oral histories are held in the Alexander Turnbull Library’s Oral History Collection.

Access the New Zealand Music, Sound & Audio-visual Collection

You can find collection items using the National Library Catalogue. You can order items from anywhere, and access them in the Katherine Mansfield Reading Room at the National Library in Wellington. Some digitised items are available to view online.

Get copies from items in this collection

You can get copies of items in this collection if copyright allows. You can write a letter, phone or email to order audio-visual copies and photocopies of scores.

More about making copies

More about copyright

Detail, HMV record factory, Wellington (1957).
Detail, HMV record factory, Wellington (1957). Ref: 1/2-177238-F.

Highlights of the New Zealand Music, Sound, Audio-visual Collection

Music recordings

In the Collection you will find a vast array of music recordings made in New Zealand from the 1920s through to the present, together with overseas recordings made by New Zealanders. All music genres and styles are represented. Audio media range from shellac discs through to CDs and digital files. The Collection includes:

  • Early 78 rpm discs by New Zealand artists
  • TANZA, Kiwi, Viking, Flying Nun, Ode, Rattle and other local labels
  • Overseas pressings, promos, limited editions and rarities
L-R: Wellington South Salvation Army Brass Quartet (ca 1961); Dinah Lee, Introducing Dinah Lee (1964); Rhombus, Babylon Retreat (2008).
L-R: Wellington South Salvation Army Brass Quartet (ca 1961) ; Dinah Lee, Introducing Dinah Lee (1964) ; Rhombus, Babylon Retreat (2008) .

We hold an extensive range of printed music. Publications range from sheet music of popular songs and piano music, through to orchestral and chamber music scores. The Collection includes:

Detail, Thomas Bracken and John J. Woods, God Defend New Zealand (ca 1879).
Detail, Thomas Bracken and John J. Woods, God Defend New Zealand (ca 1879).

We also hold published radio documentaries, historical recordings and talking books. Highlights include:

Videos and DVDs

We have a comprehensive collection of videos and DVDs relating to New Zealand and the Pacific. Some older formats have been digitised and can be accessed from our reading room.

Highlights include:

  • Local histories and documentaries
  • Films relating to Māori and Pacific culture
  • Performing and visual arts and artists.
L-R: Native Birds of New Zealand (2006); Rapa Iti, The Tahitian Choir (1994); Len Lye Talks About Art (2003), courtesy of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre.
L-R: Native Birds of New Zealand (2006); Rapa Iti, The Tahitian Choir (1994); Len Lye Talks About Art (2003), courtesy of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre.