Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of the nation of New Zealand. It was signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840 by Captain William Hobson, several English residents and approximately 45 Maori chiefs.

Women's Suffrage Petition

The 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition led to New Zealand becoming the first self-governing nation in the world where women won the right to vote.

Tokyo War Crimes

The collection is one of the most complete and unique sets of original documents of the International Military Tribunal Far East (IMTFE) 1946-1948.

Grey New Zealand Māori Manuscript Collection

Sir George Grey (twice Governor of New Zealand), a soldier, explorer, politician, philanthropist, and linguist donated his substantial manuscript, book collection and personal papers to the citizens of Auckland.

Overture Aotearoa

The item is the manuscript score of Douglas Lilburn’s Overture Aotearoa; an overture for orchestra written in 1940, while Lilburn was a student in London at the Royal College of Music.

National Film Unit Weekly Review and Pictorial Parade

The National Film Unit’s ‘Weekly Review’ and ‘Pictorial Parade’ film series captured a wide variety of news and general interest stories, and contributed to the cultural identity of mid-twentieth century New Zealand.

Māori Land Court Minute Books

The Māori Land Court minute books, 1862-1900, are a record of the hearings and evidence given to establish the Native Land Court titles across New Zealand. They record tribal history, whakapapa (genealogy) and evidence of iwi/hapu (tribes and sub-tribes) use and occupation of land.


The documentary PATU! records a watershed moment in New Zealand history. The 1981 Springbok Tour to New Zealand divided the country in two (you were either for the tour, or you were against it) and marked the largest and most sustained period of civil disobedience in our recent history.

Sir Edmund Hillary Archive

Edmund Hillary KG, ONZ, KBE (1919-2008), renowned New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, environmentalist and philanthropist, bequeathed his personal archive of papers, photographs and documents to Auckland Museum.  In 1953 Hillary captured the world's imagination by conquering Everest and went on to explore places where no man had been before.

God Defend New Zealand Original Score and Lyrics

As New Zealand’s national anthem, sung at every official and sporting occasion, God Defend New Zealand is one of our most powerful symbols of national identity.

Charles Brasch Literary and Personal Papers

Charles Orwell Brasch (1909-1973) was a poet, editor and patron of the arts who played a key role in the development of a distinctive New Zealand literary and arts culture. He was the founding editor of the literary journalLandfall and gave professional and personal support to many New Zealand writers and artists.

A korao no New Zealand

2015 is the bi-centenary of the publication, A Korao no New Zealand, or, the New Zealander's first book:being an attempt to compose some lessons for the instruction of the natives, the first printed publication in Māori.

Mobile Unit – New Zealand Oral History, 1946-48

The New Zealand Oral History collection 1946-1948 is a preeminent collection of broadcast oral histories recorded around regional New Zealand after the Second World War by the New Zealand Broadcasting Service’s Mobile Unit.

Dr Hocken’s Church Missionary Society records

This collection of records acquired by Hocken from the Church Missionary Society in London contains the letters and journals of Rev Samuel Marsden and the settlers who came to New Zealand in 1814 to begin establishing missionary settlements.

Pickerill Papers on plastic surgery

Doctors Henry Percival (1879-1956) and Cecily Pickerill (1903-1988) pioneered significant developments in facial plastic surgery especially for soldiers wounded in warfare, and for children with cleft palate and hare lip deformities.

He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni

He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni – known in English as the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand – is a constitutional document of historical and cultural significance.

Katherine Mansfield literary and personal papers

Katherine Mansfield (the pseudonym of Kathleen Beauchamp, 1888-1923) is New Zealand's most significant and enduringly famous writer.  She wrote poetry and reviews, and worked in an editorial capacity for some of London's most ground-breaking avant-garde literary journals, but most importantly wrote short stories, for which she gained an international reputation.

Scottish Migration Collection

The Waipu collection documents a significant microcosm of international migration from Scotland to Nova Scotia, to Australia, and to New Zealand, reflecting the spread of the British Empire of the time, and the movement of its people.

Lance Richdale Papers

Lancelot Eric Richdale's papers document his internationally recognised contributions to ornithological knowledge and conservation.

Sir John Logan Campbell papers

The Papers relating to John Logan Campbell held at Auckland War Memorial Museum Library.

John A. Lee Papers

The John A. Lee papers comprise personal letters, photographs, annotated scrapbooks, hand-written manuscripts and typescripts of his published works, speeches and radio broadcasts.

The J.T. Diamond West Auckland History Collection

John T. (Jack) Diamond M.B.E. (1912-2001) was an amateur historian and archaeologist who devoted over 60 years of his life to recording and collecting both the Māori and the Pākehā history of West Auckland.

New Zealand official photographs, World War 1914-1918

The first official photograph collection to document New Zealand’s involvement in war.

Kaleidoscope – a weekly television arts documentary programme, 1976-1989

Kaleidoscope is an arts documentary series made for television. It was broadcast weekly from 1976 to 1989.

Salmond Anderson Architects Records

The Salmond Anderson Architects Records are a record of more than a century of architectural development in New Zealand.

Ng New Zealand Chinese Heritage Collection

A collection of detailed documents and other information relating to the earliest heritage of the New Zealand Chinese Community.

Tyree Studio Collection

This extensive and complete collection spanning approximately 87 years is comprehensive in its coverage of society from soon after the settlement of Nelson.

Jack Lovelock Papers

Lovelock is a significant figure in the history of human sporting and athletic achievement. His gold medal in the 1936 Olympics was considered by many to be the ‘perfect race’.

Kerikeri Mission Te Reo Slates

The Kerikeri Mission Te Reo Slates were found at Kemp House in 2000, when the floorboards were lifted for restoration works.

Armson Collins Architectural Drawing Collection

William Armson founded his architectural practice in Christchurch in 1870. At the time of closing in 1993, the firm had been in existence for 123 years, and was Christchurch’s oldest, and the second oldest architectural practice in New Zealand.

Cambodian Women Oral History Project

First hand accounts of momentous events of the twentieth century from people who are now New Zealanders and have brought this history with them.

Marti Friedlander Archive

Marti Friedlander was known for photographing and documenting New Zealand’s people, places and events, and is considered one of the country’s foremost photographers.

Journals and Papers of Reverend Charles Baker

Charles Baker’s journals document and provide insight into a seminal time in Aotearoa’s history. Through his writings Baker describes and records a rapidly changing world through moments of cross-cultural interaction and exchange between Māori and the growing European population.

Herries Beattie Papers (1848 – 1972)

The papers document traditional knowledge and memories of 19th century South Island people, both Maori and Pakeha, a key time in NZ history.

PCANZ Deaconess Collection

The Deaconess order was a way of making women’s work visible within society and gave women a voice and a formal role outside the home, paving the way for the ordination of women which finally happened in 1966.

C P Dawes Collection

The C P Dawes Collection is comprised of 3 separate accessions of glass plate negatives totalling almost 2200 items, and around 100 original prints. This collection represents a unique photographic record of life in the Hokianga region at the turn of the 20th century.

Dr Muriel Bell Papers

Dr Muriel Emma Bell’s papers document the work of a brilliant and energetic early woman medical researcher from the 1910s to the 1970s, whose life-long interest in many aspects of nutrition research has improved the health of New Zealanders today.

Richard Davis Meteorological Records 1839-1851

These journals kept by Richard Davis, a young farmer and lay preacher from Dorset, have been identified as the earliest continuous land-based weather records currently known in New Zealand.

Sir Julius von Haast Collection

The Sir Julius von Haast Collection represents the most unique and complete record of the life and work of a New Zealand scientist of the nineteenth century.

World War II New Zealand Mobile Broadcasting Unit Recordings

The nearly 1,600 World War II New Zealand Mobile Broadcasting Unit recordings of the voices of New Zealanders at war are a taonga for generations to treasure.