National Library resources

National Library In Focus

 The National Library of New Zealand was formed in 1965 with the amalgamation of the Alexander Turnbull Library, the General Assembly Library, and the National Library Service (in 1985 the General Assembly Library separated from the National Library and is now known as the Parliamentary Library).

 In 1987 National Library staff and collections were moved from 14 sites around Wellington to a new National Library building on Molesworth Street, which was opened in August of that year.  In 2009 renovations to the building were started to create storage space to last until 2030.

The National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act was passed in 2003 and defines the purpose of the National Library as “to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchange with other nations, as appropriate, by:

  • collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and make them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga;
  • supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and
  • working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes, including those forming part of the international library community.”

As well as the building and maintenance of its physical collections the National Library fulfils its purpose by building and maintaining digital collections and by facilitating access to other electronic resources.

In November 2007 the National Library launched the Aotearoa People’s Network (APN), a service providing free access to broadband internet services in public libraries, benefitting anyone who has access to a public library.  APN is available at Nelson Public Libraries.

Recently the National Library launched a new amalgamated search tool that enables searching across multiple catalogues, digital collections, and websites:

  • FIND - search across National Library and other significant digital collection

Some of the National Library’s On-line resources:

National Library access to New Zealand on-line resources:

  • New Zealand Libraries' Catalogue - publications currently held in all of New Zealand's libraries
  • DigitalNZ NZ digital content
  • Matapihi digital collections held by New Zealand cultural institutions
  • KRIS Kiwi Research Information Service -  research documents from universities, polytechnics and other research institutions