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

Welcome to the
Auckland Museum Research Library


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


Opening hours
The Research Library is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm. 
The library is not open on weekends or public holidays.

If you would like to access material from our collections you will need to book your appointment. We require at least one week's notice ahead of your visit to ensure we are able to retrieve your selected material. 

To book an appointment, please fill out this form.

In-person research visits 
Up to three researchers are permitted to use the Research Library per day. Please plan your visit in advance and give us at least one week's notice.

While in the museum, please ensure you follow all health and safety guidelines


About the Research 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.

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.

Whare Pukapuka

Reading Room


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


Contact Us 

Tono Urunga

Book a Visit


We welcome requests to view original Documentary Heritage material in our Research Library, which is open by appointment. We ask that you give us two working days' 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.

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 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.


Send us an enquiry

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.

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

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 

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.

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

Ngā Koha

Donating objects


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 object-donation proposals that would fit within our collecting plans and enhance existing collections.


Learn more