Making the most of your visit
You can start using the Library long before you ever reach the building in Molesworth Street. Smart preparation can make your research visit more focused and more productive.
Get research advice
Want a hand getting your research started? Need one more ridiculously obscure item to finish it up? Staff at the Library can help you out when you visit, or you can ask right now with the Ask a Librarian form.
Send us your research query, however general or specific, and you’ll get a response from the most suitable staff member within 10 days.
Find collection items right now
Search the collections to find the records of material you want to view in the Library. Getting the information before you come saves time and helps you narrow down what you’re looking for.
View digital collections online
Many collection items – including lots of images, newspapers, and music tracks – are available through this site. Digital images are available right on the record page, and you can get other kinds of items by clicking its View this item online button.
You do still need to be in the Library to view some digital material, including restricted images and oral histories. If you can’t see something, grab the reference number and come on in.
Use our subscription e-resources
Expand your research into national and international databases with our subscription e-resources. This gives you access to a wide range of journals, magazines, and other electronic publications.
Many resources are only available from inside the Library Reading Rooms, but you can get search results and abstracts before your visit.
Order collection items before you arrive
If you are ordering items from our collections for your visit on Saturday, plan ahead and order them before 4pm on Friday. Orders made on Saturday won't be delivered until Monday.
Most items in the collections need to be delivered to the Reading Rooms for your use, so you need to order ahead of time.
You can register as a user of the published collections of the library in advance, but you will need to visit the Library and be verified (bring some ID!) before you can order any items.
If you want to arrange in advance to view specific unpublished items (letters, diaries, archives), please use the Ask a Librarian service, give us the details, and we’ll help you any way we can.