Auckland Libraries: Manuscripts


Ngā tuhinga tawhito

Manuscripts and archives generally consist of unpublished primary resource material gathered by an individual or organisation.

Personal and family papers can include diaries, journals, reta, notebooks, typescripts and scrapbooks. Records of organisations can include minute books, correspondence and ledgers. Many of these records from our databases can now be viewed at Kura Heritage Collections Online.

Heritage Collections, Central City Library

Manuscripts online  is the catalogue of the manuscript collections located in the Heritage Collections on the second floor of Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero Central City Library.


Some manuscripts are not available online. You can locate this material in the Heritage Collections at the Central City Library.

The collections consists of reta and manuscripts either collected by or produced by Sir George Grey. The material relates to his political and colonial career, both in and outside Aotearoa, and his cultural and philological interests. Included are manuscripts by Captain James Cook and Sir Joseph Banks and material about Madagascar, reta and manuscripts in Māori, and more than 3000 reta written mostly to Grey, but occasionally to other correspondents.

The Grey Māori Manuscripts were inscribed on the New Zealand register of the UNESCO Memory of the World in 2011.

New Zealand Manuscripts

The material in this collection relates to New Zealand, and particularly Auckland and Te Tai Tokerau, from the 19th century through to the present day. Current collecting concentrates on toi whakaari, social action and community groups, waiata, literary papers, women’s organisations, Māori collections and personal papers and diaries.

Non-New Zealand Manuscripts

A collection of miscellaneous non-New Zealand manuscripts ranging in date from 1558 to the 20th century.


Medieval and Eastern Manuscripts

The collection includes Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from the 12th to the 17th century, and Eastern manuscripts from the 16th to the 19th century.


Reed Dumas Collection

Heritage Collections houses the largest collection of works by and about Alexandre Dumas outside France, including first editions and 2000 pages of manuscripts.


Research West, Waitākere Central Library

The repository for a significant collection of archive material sourced from west Auckland individuals, families, organisations, pakihi and communities.

J.T. Diamond Collection

A major collection, which represents 70 years of research on the Western Districts by the late amateur historian and archaeologist John (Jack) Thomas Diamond (1912-2001).


East Coast Bays Library

Local Archives

The Friends of East Coast Bays Library Local Archives contains clippings, booklets and some local community records about the East Coast Bays (from Campbells Bay to Long Bay). The collection can be accessed by making an appointment with the staff at East Coast Bays Library.

Birkenhead Library

Chelsea Archives

A collection of records from the Chelsea Sugar Refinery in Birkenhead (now New Zealand Sugar Company Ltd.) dating back to the late 19th century. It is housed in a purpose-built room at Birkenhead Library and can be viewed by appointment. To visit the collection, please contact the staff at Birkenhead Library.

Photo of Alexandre Dumas and Les Trois Mousquetaires.

Items from the Reed collection including a photograph of Dumas.

Auckland Libraries:Manuscripts Manuscripts and archives generally consist of unpublished primary resource material gathered by an individual or organisation.