Auckland Libraries: Oral history

Oral history

Kōrero tāhuhu ā-waha

We hold a large number of oral history and sound recordings in our heritage and regional research collections.

The subject and life history interviews draw on people's lived experiences and memories and are often rich in personal and social history.


There is a wide range of life history interviews with individuals who have contributed to creating the story that is Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Interviews are at times multilingual and include everything from descriptions of places and landscapes, culture, sports and games, to private and domestic life, migration experiences, industry and much more.


Our collection houses people's recollections dating back to the turn of the 20th century and cover every decade through to the present day.


Recordings have been donated in different formats and include reel to reel, analogue tapes, VHS, compact discs, microcassettes and born digital files.


We are currently undertaking a programme of work to shift analogue collections to digital, and to bring all collections together onto a single online searchable platform.


Oral history holdings can be discovered through Local History Online  , Community Archives  or ask at the Sir George Grey Special Collections, Central City Library. You are welcome to email oral history specialist Sue Berman with research or collection questions.



Want to make a donation?


Do you have existing recordings of family, events or interviews that might be of value to our collection? We are happy to assess and discuss the possible donation of material into our Auckland Libraries heritage and research collections or advise on an appropriate archive for your collection.



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