Frequently Asked Questions
Can I borrow books from the Museum Library?
Some members (life members, members from before 1996, library subscribers) of the Auckland Museum Institute may borrow from most of the book collections. We do lend some items through inter-library loan to other libraries.
Can I search the library catalogue through the Internet?
Yes. Click on Library Catalogue in the menu to the left. The national bibliographic database called Te Puna, which is available online at many libraries throughout New Zealand, includes holdings for most of the books we have catalogued since 1991. Ask your public or university librarian. Almost all of the Library’s manuscript collections are recorded on The Community Archive and are also keyword searchable through web browers such as Google.
Can you help me with my whakapapa?
The Museum Library does hold a number of printed and manuscript resources of interest to those researching whakapapa. Most of the manuscript items are included in the publication Nga pou arahi … a tribal inventory of manuscripts relating to Maori treasures, language, genealogy, songs, history, customs and proverbs, which is available in many libraries. Our staff, including the Kai arahi, can give you assistance and direction in response to your email enquiry or your visit.
Do you undertake research for enquirers? If so is there a cost involved?
Library staff respond to many email and other enquiries based on our collections. If the question is focused and something we can respond to in a short time (say 15-20 minutes from one source), there is generally no charge. However, we do offer a research service at the rate of $50 per hour for enquiries which require checking a number of sources or more in depth research. Copying charges will also apply.
I am doing my family history. What material do you hold which would be helpful?
We hold a range of genealogical finding aids (indexes, lists, transcripts) for New Zealand research. These are the same as you will find in a number of other libraries. We would like you to think of us as a source of special material to aid with your wider family history study. These sources include manuscripts, maps and photographs. We are the repository for the archives of the Presbyterian Church in Auckland and Northland, and these archives include baptisms and marriages.
One of our areas of strength is for those researching military ancestors. Check the Armoury page for more details.
I have an old book. What is it worth?
Although the Museum Library has a large number of ‘old’ books in its collection, we do not have resources to tell you how much your book is worth. Check sites on the Internet for auctioneers and book dealers - for example www.abebooks.com. Also, some larger public libraries and secondhand book dealers may have price guides, sales catalogues or databases to help.
What are your photocopying charges?
Visitors to the Library or our three information centres can copy items for 30 cents (A4) and 60 cents (A3). Only staff may copy from our special collections (eg. manuscripts, maps, ephemera, photographs) and the charge is 70 cents per sheet.
What do you hold?
Well, that is too large a question to answer here. For a fuller explanation see the main Library Services page. We hold research material for Auckland, New Zealand and the Pacific in particular, in the fields of local history, ethnology, Maori studies, applied arts, natural history and military history. The formats include: books, serials, newspapers, manuscripts, ephemera, photographs, and drawings.
Where is the Museum Library?
We are one of Auckland’s best-kept secrets, but we are very happy for everyone to know about us. A library has been associated with the Museum since 1868. We have a large, wide ranging collection, and can be found on the top floor of the Museum, at the southern end.
From 1960 until 1999 we were accessible through a separate entrance and few Museum visitors found us. After refurbishment, we reopened in 2001 with a new entrance from within the Museum and have had quite a few surprised visitors since then. All members of the public are welcome.
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