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Frequently asked questions

Q. 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.

Q. Can I search the library catalogue through the Internet?

Yes. You can search the Library collection and also 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 Google.

Q. 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 Māori 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.

Q. 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. One of our areas of strength is for those researching military ancestors. Check the Armoury page for more details.

Q. 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, Māori studies, applied arts, natural history and military history. The formats include: books, serials, newspapers, manuscripts, ephemera, photographs, and drawings.