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About our collection

John Early, Curator Entomology.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Since 1852 we have been amassing a collection that is relevant to all New Zealanders. At first our gathering focused on native flora and fauna, before moving onto the arts, crafts and relics of New Zealand's human settlers.

Today we protect and care for the world’s leading collection of Māori taonga (treasures). We also have superb collections from throughout Polynesia and the Pacific, as well as the country's leading collection of European, Asian and New Zealand applied arts and musical instruments. Our natural history collection includes thousands of important botanical, marine and land specimens, and our photographic collection has more than 1.2 million images.

In addition to our physical research and heritage library, which is on the second floor of the Museum, we have created a digital database that lets you search through our collections to find images and information about every major artefact we hold. We're continuously updating and improving this database, with the goal of eventually digitising everything in the Museum's collection.

Rights and permissions

Auckland War Memorial Museum has content available online under several different rights categories. Learn more about these rights statements.

About our online records

The development of the Auckland War Memorial Museum online collection is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

Search the collection

  • Documentary Heritage

    The Documentary Heritage collections depict New Zealand and Pacific culture and history with a particular emphasis on the Auckland region found in a range of media including manuscripts, photographs, prints, drawings, posters, maps, paintings, oral histories, and publications.

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  • Human History

    Auckland Museum protects and cares for nearly 200,000 human history objects, in a collection that have been developed and cared for over 150 years.

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  • Natural Sciences

    Auckland Museum's natural science collection contain almost 1.5 million specimens, mostly from New Zealand and the Pacific.

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