Local history

The local history collections focus on the greater Auckland region, but also include general New Zealand and Pacific history and literature. As well as published material, and several thousand reels of microfilm, there are unique indexes and other bibliographic resources about Auckland.


Digital Library

Auckland eResources links you to a range of online research tools, including photographs, newspaper articles and official records. Highlights from the local history eResources:

  • Heritage Images is a growing selection of over 100,000 digitised images from photographic and map collections including Winkelmann, Firth, Richardson, Radcliffe, Young, Schmidt and the Auckland Weekly News. Geographically the collections include material from central Auckland and around the region.
  • Local History Online is a combined collection of local history indexes to community newspapers, oral histories, and  heritage images from the former Rodney, North Shore and Waitakere Libraries.
  • Footprints is a selection of digitised photographs and other images relating to South Auckland and the Counties-Manukau area.  It includes selected photographs from the back files of the South Auckland Courier, Manukau Courier and related titles, as well as photographs from local historical societies, private collections and a number of noted South Auckland photographers (including Alton Francis, Murray Freer and Trevor Penman).
  • Manukau's Journey - a Manukau timeline is a selection of significant and representative events from the history of Manukau City and adjoining areas.
  • Digitised heritage newspapers for the Auckland region can be found on the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa’s Papers Past. A number of newspaper eResources available through the digital library covers regional current and historical topics.


Research centres

The Auckland Libraries’ research centres hold a wide range of local history resources and can provide expert help. They are a great place to start or continue your research. Local history collections at the research centres may include:

Access to some collections may be restricted and some material is for reference use in the library only. Contact the research centres for more information.


Sir George Grey Special Collections

The Sir George Grey Special Collections, located on the second floor of Central City Library, has an extensive range of Auckland heritage items. This collection includes photographs, maps, manuscripts and ephemera. The oral history collection at the Sir George Grey Special Collections, Central City contains over 350 recordings.


Local history resources at community libraries

Some community libraries also have local history collections. These may include photographs, ephemera, newspaper clippings, books and oral histories of the area. The content of these collections varies from library to library.

Notable local history collections at community libraries include:

  • Franklin Heritage Collection at Pukekohe Library
  • East Coast Bays Local Archives at East Coast Bays Library
  • Chelsea Sugar Archives at Birkenhead Library


Council archives

Auckland Council Archives preserves and makes available local authority records dating from 1852, when permanent local government services were first established in the region. 

© Auckland Council