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Museum Library

The Auckland War Memorial Museum Library is one of the major research libraries in the country.

The library was formed in November 1867 as part of the Auckland Institute, and since then has grown to include some outstanding collections relating in particular to Auckland, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Amongst these collections are important rare books, manuscripts and archives as well as maps, charts and plans. The collections also include periodicals, newspapers, ephemera and oral history. There is also a bookplate (ex libris) collection of exceptional range and quality.

The focus of the collections includes:

  • Māori language, whakapapa and history
  • Auckland social history
  • Natural history
  • New Zealand military history
  • Archaeology
  • Ethnology
  • Museum studies
  • The applied arts
  • Exploration and discovery

The Library Catalogue

The Library Catalogue is a valuable online resource providing an entry point for finding out about the holdings of the Library.

It includes records for a number of formats:

  • Manuscripts - all of the holdings are included
  • Books and serials - about one third are catalogued
  • Maps - a small proportion of our total holdings
  • Pictorial collection - provides detail about some of the extensive images of photographs, drawings and prints

Card catalogues for most of the remaining books, serials and maps in the library can be used in the Reading Room.

Search the library catalogue


The library is open to all visitors and enquiries are welcome.

Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm
Anzac Day 10am - 5pm
Sundays and public holidays (except ANZAC Day): closed

Library hours and services over the Christmas - New Year period, 2017/2018

Library Reading Room Christmas hours 2017

Saturday 23 December -  Closes at 3pm
Sunday 24 December -   Closed
Monday 25  - Museum closed
Tuesday 26 December - (Public holiday) Closed
Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 December - Normal service (10am – 5pm)
Sunday 31 December - Closed
Monday 1, Tuesday 2 January 2018 - (Public holidays) Closed
From Wednesday 3 January 2018  - Normal service resumes

Interloan requests, new book suggestions, and acquisitions received over the break will be dealt with from January 3.

Image Order service

We will be accepting last orders in 2017 up to 3pm Friday 15 December, for pre-processing.
The service will be closed from Friday 22 December and will resume service on Monday 8 January 2018. 

How to find us

The Museum Library is located on the second floor. The entrance is through the foyer or atrium ends of the Museum.  If you enter the Pictorial Gallery, the library is in front of you.