Researching at the Library


The collections of the National Library and Alexander Turnbull Library hold incredible materials for any kind of research. Our staff are ready to help you with getting what you need, offering guidance, and making copies.


The Library has collected New Zealand and Pacific material for decades, to provide you with an unparalleled resource for research. We are constantly adding to the collections through donations, bequests, purchases, and Legal Deposit.

National Library collections

The National Library collection holds nearly everything published in and about New Zealand, and also has large Pacific collections.

The collections include books, magazines, microfilm, videos, databases and more.

Alexander Turnbull Library collections

The Turnbull Library collection is built on the original documentary collections of Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull, and includes many unique published and unpublished items from throughout New Zealand’s history.

Available material includes books, maps, serials, newspapers, music, websites, oral histories, manuscripts, photographs, paintings, and more.

Research services

Accessing items onsite: Some collection items are available for reference use in the Reading Rooms, and other materials can be ordered in, several times a day. Some rarer and more fragile items can only be accessed in the Charles Heaphy room, a more secure space.

Research advice: In the Library, you’ll be able to talk to research specialists who can help you hone your enquiries and find the right material. You can have a full research interview or just ask a quick question. You can even get started now by exploring our research guides.

Making copies: You can make research copies of most items, unless they need protection due to copyright or fragility. Bring your digital camera, or ask our staff for help making copies.