You are welcome to consult original material from our Documentary Heritage collections in the Reading Room. Please do a preliminary search on Collections Online for the material you wish to order. Please contact us if you require any guidance on the size or scope of a particular collection.

To maximise the use of your time, please give us at least one working day’s advance notice; this allows us to provide a more efficient service, and means that we can have material prepared before you arrive.

To book a time to visit, please use our contact form — choose “Documentary Heritage,” then “Research" from the options, then complete the form that appears.

For Library Services hours over the Christmas and New Year period, vist our Plan your visit page.




Material is retrieved on the following schedule:

Requests made between... ...will be fulfilled at...

10.00am and 10.30am


10.30am and 12.15pm


12.15pm and 1.45pm


1.45pm and 3.15pm



Requests made after 3.15pm will be fulfilled at 10am the next working day.

Please note that access restrictions — as noted on collection records — apply to certain items for a variety of reasons, and that some items cannot be retrieved and must be viewed digitally. Requests for large-format items and requests for significant volumes of material in a single order may take longer to be fulfilled.

Saturday schedule

Requests made between... ...will be fulfilled at...

10.00am and 10.30am


10.30am and 11.45am


11.45pm and 2.00pm


1.45pm and 3.15pm




NB: For security reasons, certain items cannot be retrieved on Saturdays; we will advise you ahead of time if this is the case with any of the items in your request.


At right: Menu card for dinner aboard the RRS Discovery. British National Antarctic Expedition (1901–04). EPH-SCI-8-5.​

Guidelines for Access to Documentary Heritage Material

Researchers are asked to abide by the following guidelines, which govern the handling and use of documentary-heritage material:

  • Material may be viewed only in the Reading Room and must be handled with care. Supports and tools (pillows, cradles, page-weights etc.) must be used if supplied.
  • Eating and drinking are prohibited.
  • Bags, coats, and other personal belongings should be stored in a locker.
  • Only pencils may be used to take notes.
  • Surrogates of fragile and restricted materials are issued in preference to originals, which would be issued only at the discretion of Documentary Heritage staff.
  • Copying, personal photography and Image Orders:
  • All copying must comply with the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994.
  • Copies are generally provided solely for the purposes of private research; the sale, letting for-hire or reduplication of such copies is prohibited by the Act.
  • Personal photography:

  • Researchers may take photographs of material (for private research purposes only) using their own equipment, but such images cannot be published, displayed in public, or transmitted via any electronic medium without permission.
  • Flash photography is prohibited, and camera sound-effects must be disabled.
  • Researchers undertaking personal photography accept full responsibility for determining if it exceeds the limits of fair dealing as outlined in the Copyright Act, which prohibits the sale, letting-for-hire or reduplication of such images.
  • Original material may be photocopied by staff only, at their discretion.
  • An Image Order may be requested where photocopying is not possible or if personal photography is insufficient, or if images are required for publication purposes.
  • In certain cases, terms of donation or other conditions may outright prohibit copying.


At right: Prospectus for the 1971 season of the Auckland Football Association Club. EPH-HRC-7-37.​