Nau mai, haere mai, whakatau mai ki
te Pātaka Mātāpuna o Tāmaki Paenga Hira.


The Library Reading Room, which is on the top floor of the Museum, is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. It is closed on Sundays and public holidays (with the exception of ANZAC Day).

Formed in November 1867 as part of the Auckland Institute, the Auckland War Memorial Museum Library Te Pātaka Mātāpuna is one of New Zealand’s major research libraries.

It is open to the public, students, and academic and general-interest researchers alike, and is the main access point for the Museum’s Documentary Heritage collections.


About the Library 







Delve into the rich social, artistic and commercial history of Tāmaki Makaurau through original letters and diaries, photographs and artwork, maps, fascinating ephemera, rare books, early newspapers and much more…


Search Collections 

A decorative poster map of the North Island. Surrounded by colourful sporting illustrations with a Māori-carving-style border. Produced by W.J. Gaudin Ltd. Wellington: Universal Business Directories, 1958. G9080.N6. ID 8535.



Whare Pukapuka

Reading Room


In addition to an extensive collection of contemporary books and serials, our browseable collections also include facsimile maps, items on microfilm, and access to some digital resources. We also have displays that complement current exhibitions and showcase curatorial research.


Contact Us 

The cover of Thalassa: an essay on the depth, temperature, and currents of the ocean by John James Wild. With charts and diagrams by the author. London: Marcus Ward & Co.; Belfast: Royal Ulster Works, 1877. GC11 WIL. ID 59116.



Tono Urunga

Book a visit


You are welcome to request to view original Documentary Heritage items in our Reading Room, which is open for research six days a week. Items are retrieved on a schedule, and ask that you give us a day’s notice so that we can prepare material. We also welcome your enquiries about collections or research more generally.


Make a booking

An image from The Peacock at Home, by Catherine Ann Turner Dorset. 6 unnumbered leaves of colour plates. London: George Routledge & Sons; printed by Kronheim & Co., [c. 1880s]. PZ8.3 PEA. ID 18231.



Ngā Pātai



We welcome research enquiries relating to our collections, as well as broader subject-matter and general enquiries, including whakapapa (genealogy) enquiries and questions from students. We aim to respond within five working days.


Contact us

A woodcut illustration by E. Mervyn Taylor from p. 12 of Verse, an anthology of writing by New Zealand children. Edited by Tom L. Mills. “A Tiki book.” Wellington: Progressive Publishing Society, 1943. PZ8.3 VER. ID 25317.



Ngā Whakaahua

Image Orders


Images of Museum objects are supplied for a wide range of purposes, from private research to commercial publication. Because orders can be complicated by copyright and other concerns, we suggest allowing considerable lead time.

Images that depict Māori and Pacific taonga are subject to cultural permissions protections.


 place an order 

An image from the Farmer's Trading Company archive. [c. 1960s]. MS-1400. HTP04: box 5, folder 8, item 13.



Ngā Kōrero o ngā Hōia

Military History


Visitors to Pou Maumahara, our Memorial Discovery Centre, can research our nation’s military history and make personal discoveries about those who have served in the armed forces for Aotearoa New Zealand.


About Pou Maumahara 

The aviator’s certificate of Lieutenant Harold Winstone Butterworth (1895–1916), Royal Flying Corps (WWI). Issued 10 July 1915. Part of MS-966.

Mō ngā Ākonga

For Students


The Library offers research-skills workshops for Year 11, 12 and 13 students, with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with original material. These sessions can be tailored to a particular subject or thematic study area.


Info for Teachers 

The cover of South Sea Islands, by Charles A. Borden. London: Robert Hale Ltd., 1963. GN662 BOR. ID 47198.



Ngā Koha



The Museum is home to millions of taonga, every one of which tells a story that helps interpret, understand, and illuminate the history of Aotearoa and its people. We welcome donation proposals that would fit within our collecting plans and enhance existing collections.


Learn more 

Illustrations from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, F.R.S. “Second and revised edition, with one hundred and twenty-five illustrations.” London: Richard Bentley & Son, 1871. TL620.A1 GLA. ID 39313