What's on

HeritageTalks 2017 

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from February to November, 12pm - 1pm unless otherwise stated.
Where: Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Lorne St, Auckland with some marked exceptions
Cost: Free

Booking: Not always essential but to secure your place, please contact the Central Auckland Research Centre on 09 307 7771, or complete our online booking form.

  •  Are you interested in family and local history?
  • The history of this country, as well as the rest of the world?

Then why not come along to one of our fortnightly HeritageTalks and hear more about both our personal and our shared heritage.

These talks are given by experts in their field and can provide valuable insight into our histories.

Download the 2017 HeritageTalks brochure

Coming up in HeritageTalks:


Family history magazines. It's all about audience - writing the articles with Bruce Ralston
Wednesday 17 May, 12pm - 1pm

Be inspired to put pen to paper and tell stories from your family history or research expertise. Let go of your inhibitions about writing and let the world know what you have discovered, even if it is really just stories you want to record for your family.

Bruce Ralston is editor of the New Zealand Genealogist. In previous lives he has been a librarian, helping to establish family history centres in Wellington and Auckland Libraries, a library manager, an archivist, and a metadata manipulator.


Special event: Wednesday 31 May

Helen SmithYour British Ancestry – an afternoon with Helen Smith
1pm - 5pm
Visiting Australian Helen Smith is a professional family historian lecturing, teaching, writing and client research. She has been researching her own family history since 1986, and is researching the surname 'Quested' (anywhere, anytime), and has registered the name with the Guild of One-Name Studies and with the Surname Society.
We’re lucky enough to have her give us a series of three British family history talks:


  • 1pm - 2pm: The Parish Chest: More than baptisms, marriages and burials Treasures hidden within the Parish Chest include Bastardry bonds, settlement certificates, removal orders and so much more.
  • 2.30pm - 3.30pm: The workhouse
    The 1834 New Poor Law resulted in many changes and the dreaded Union Workhouse. Hear about life in the Workhouse, the records and more.
  • 4pm - 5pm: The English apprentice
    The industrial revolution caused changes to the long history and records of English Apprenticeships.


Please note that Level 2 of Central Library is closed for refurbishment from Thursday 8 June - Monday 3 July.

The book that changed Europe,
with Andrew Henry
Wednesday 14 June, 12pm -1pm
Waitemata Room, Level 3

Picart’s Ceremonies, recently called ‘the book that changed Europe’, was the first book to compare the world’s religions in a way that encouraged tolerance. A publishing sensation at the time, it is sadly still relevant almost three centuries later. Come and have a look at these beautifully illustrated volumes and hear how Auckland Libraries has ended up with two sets of this beautifully illustrated, seven-volume, 18th century work.

Māori Maps with Peter Dowling
Wednesday 28 June, 12pm -1pm
Waitemata Room, Level 3

Māori Maps is a portal to the 750-plus ancestral marae of Aotearoa New Zealand. Relaunched in January this year in a mobile-friendly format, the site provides key information, maps and photos for each marae – going as far as the gateway to help descendants to reconnect and visitors to engage respectfully with marae communities.  
Maori Maps is administered by charitable organisation Te Potiki National Trust. Peter Dowling is a director of the Trust and acts as its kaihautu. Come and listen to him speak about the project and find out how Maori can trace their personal heritage.


Please note that Level 2 of Central Library is closed for refurbishment from Thursday 8 June - Monday 3 July.

Māori place names - Point Erin to Wynyard Quarter with Herewini Easton Wednesday 12 July, 12pm -1pm

E tu ake ana ahau ki Okā
Ka tiro atu ki Te Waikōkota
Ka rongo ahau ki ngā wai e tere nei
Ko Tīkapa Moana, ko Hauraki ko Waitemata
Ko Ūreia he tipua he taniwha
As I stand at Okā I look out across Te Waikōkota
I sense the waters flowing, Tīkapa Moana, Hauraki, Waitemata
Here is Ūreia the mythical sea creature

Join Herewini Easton on a pictorial journey of the ancient shoreline of Auckland’s waterfront, from Point Erin to Brickfield Bay.

Engagement with Māori taonga
with Rob Eruera

Wednesday 26 July, 12pm -1pm
The charismatic karanga of taonga Māori over the years has left my mind and heart filled with emotional wonder at how powerful such treasures truly are. Most important to this equation, however, is how people engage and join with the taonga. Please join me in this low key chat.
Nau mai – Haere mai  - Rob Eurera.

August - Family history month

Various events are on at library venues around the Auckland region 1-31 August– check with your local library.


Auckland Family History Expo
11-13 August 2017
Come and see us at the Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mount Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland. More details here.


Treasures Stored in the Internet Archive
with Michelle Patient
Wednesday 16 August, 12pm -1pm (extra event for Family History Month)
Genealogist Michelle Patient takes us on a tour of this online archive, showing us various hidden treasures, as well as its history and purpose. This is a valuable research tool for both historians and genealogists alike.

Britain's Forgotten Bodysnatchers
with Suzie Lennox

Wednesday 23 August, 12pm -1pm
During the winters of 1742 -1832, Britain's graveyards were a hive of activity as cadavers were exhumed and transported to Anatomy schools for dissection —  with no questions asked about their origins.  Hear the stories of the students, anatomists  and bodysnatchers, as we discover the cases that have become hidden in history. 


Auckland Heritage Festival

 30 September to 15 October 2017


Behind the layers of the GeoMaps
with Adrian Rose and Stu Smith

Wednesday 6 September, 12pm -1pm
Do you know what the GeoMaps viewer is? Come along and learn about the historical imagery and the Cultural Heritage layers. Adrian and Stu from Geospatial team, Auckland Council, will show you how the layers in the GeoMaps can help you with your house or local history research. 

Touching Death with Seonaid Lewis

Wednesday 20 September, 12pm -1pm
Genealogists rather irreverently and ghoulishly talk about “killing off their ancestors”, but death is an important part of our research, just as in everyday life. As researchers, we can find out much about our ancestors from sources other than just death certificates. Auckland Libraries’ family history librarian, Seonaid Lewis, takes you through the different types of resources that can be used, and where they can be found when “killing off your ancestor”.


Dalmations out West
with Raewynn Robertson
(Auckland Heritage Festival)

Wednesday 4 October, 12pm -1pm
Dalmatian immigrants settled in West Auckland in the early twentieth century,
with the first orchard being established in 1903 by Ivan and Katherine Vella.
With soil ideal for fruit and grape growing, more Dalmatians settlers bought land in and around Oratia, Henderson and New Lynn to set up family businesses with their orchards and vineyards.
Hear Raewynn Robertson talk about this vibrant and hard-working West Auckland community.

Wai Horotiu, Queen Street's Hidden Stream
with Lisa Truttman
(Auckland Heritage Festival)
Wednesday 11 October, 12pm - 1pm
From a place where children fished playfully with broken pins, to the notoriety of being "Ligar's Canal", to finally being channelled, bricked and covered underground and out of sight, local historian Lisa Truttman tells the story of Wai Horotiu, part of the foundation of Auckland, and its disappearance from our landscape.

History of picture shows in Auckland
with Carolyn Skelton
Wednesday 18 October, 12pm - 1pm
In 1896 the first screen projection of moving images was shown in Auckland, and we’ve been entertained by movies ever since.  Join Carolyn Skelton as she delves into the history of the pictures in Auckland, from the St James and the Civic in the city, to the suburban and rural shows that have fascinated Aucklanders over the years.



My Story with Jan Gow

Wednesday 1 November, 12pm - 1pm
One day you will be the elderly, deceased relative - so why not make a start on your story now? Jan Gow takes a look at what you might already have for your story, from slides, newspaper cuttings, diaries and photographs, to what you could find from the electoral rolls and newspapers. She will show you how to work slowly and effectively to capture what you have  (and what you could have) in order to leave something special for your family.


Māori Memorials with Bruce Ringer
Wednesday 15 November, 12pm -1pm
New Zealand’s civic war memorials for both world wars have mostly been well documented, but not so the memorials and rolls of honour unique to our Māori communities, on marae, in churches and in meeting houses. Writer, research librarian and indefatigable memorial hunter Bruce Ringer takes you on a tour of some of these ‘missing’ memorials, with a particular emphasis on the East Coast.


An absolute beginners’ guide to
Scottish family history with Marie Hickey

Wednesday 29 November, 12pm -1pm
This presentation will look at the variety of records used for starting your family research in Scotland — some of which will be quite different to those used for other countries.  It will look at what is included on birth, death and marriage certificates, extra information included on a census, wills (Scotland has three processes), some land records, surnames – it may not be what you think! — and maps.


This ends our programme for 2017 - we begin again in February 2018.

Phone: 09 890 2412
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