Sir George Grey Special Collections:
Ta Hori Kerei - Nga kohinga taonga whakahirahira

Auckland Libraries' Sir George Grey Special Collections is one of New Zealand's three major heritage collections.

The Sir George Grey Special Collections: Ta Hori Kerei - Nga kohinga taonga whakahirahira (previously known as 'Heritage collections: Te Taumata o ngā Taonga Tuku Iho') were made accessible to the public in 1997, and are currently housed on the second floor of Central City Library.

Materials in the collections consist of:

Since the founding gift to the citizens of Auckland by Sir George Grey in 1887, the collections have grown by purchase and generous donations by benefactors to become one of the country's major heritage collections.

“Auckland City Libraries is unique in New Zealand in possessing the earliest and most important printed material of both European and Māori cultures. The early Māori material is rivalled only by that in the National Library in Wellington…; the early European material – the incunabula, the Caxtons, the Chaucers and its crowning glory, the four Shakespeare folios  – is unrivalled anywhere in this country.”

– Rowan Gibbs, book historian and heritage consultant


Preservation and development of collections

In 1991 the Auckland Library Heritage Trust was formed to assist Auckland City Libraries with the preservation, care and development of the collections. So far around $1 million has been raised by the trust for this work.

Our heritage manuscripts, photographs, maps, ephemera and books are the raw material of stories told and yet to be told, which define us as a great city, with a fascinating past, present and future.

The libraries’ aim is to preserve these resources and make them available for the pleasure and information of present and future generations.

The Auckland Libraries Heritage Trust.

The Auckland Libraries Heritage Trust, from left to right: Christopher Parr, Mac Jackson, Colin Davis (Chair), Jane Wild (Acting Manager Heritage and Research), His Excellency Lieutenant General of NZ Sir Jerry Mateparae, Allison Dobbie (Manager Libraries and Information) and Judith Bassett.
© Auckland Council