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Research West has specialist family history, genealogy and local history collections including a significant collection of archive material sourced from West Auckland individuals, families, organisations, businesses and communities.
The J.T. Diamond Room is used as an exhibition gallery, and an event room for local and family history, library-related events such as book clubs, literacy programmes, book talks and book clubs.
Research centre staff are available to help with specialist family history, whakapapa, oral history and local history queries. The research centre also has oral history equipment available for loan.
We offer support and assistance for Auckland Libraries members who wish to record their own and community-based West Auckland stories.
One of our major collections is the J.T. Diamond Collection, which represents 70 years of research on the western districts by the late amateur historian and archaeologist John (Jack) Thomas Diamond (1912-2001).
The collection comprises primary research material including extensive field diaries, approximately 10,000 photographs - both prints and negatives, maps, ephemera, and collected and published material covering the history of the Waitakere Ranges and wider West Auckland, from early Māori settlement to the late 1990s.
Jack’s research covers the extractive industries (kauri and clay), wine industry, orchards, archaeology, flora and fauna, and elements of social history. A substantial amount of the photo amd archive collections is now available to search on Local History Online.
Other significant collections are the F. D. Mill Collection of late 1920s-early 1930s aerial photos, Going West Books and Writers Festival Collection, the Western Leader newspaper archive, the Auckland West Federation of Country Women’s Institutes Collection, and a number of West Auckland-based Residents and Ratepayers Associations, schools and sports clubs. A growing collection of migrant and minority community archives includes material from The Dalmatian Genealogical and Historical Society, Waitakere Indian Association, and The Asian Network.
Our collections contain published and unpublished material on the heritage of West Auckland, and include books, magazines, newspapers, research files, ephemera, photographs, personal papers, community archives and over 200 oral histories.
Our collection also includes Māori research and reference collections including the Māori Land Court minute books both as hard copy and as microfilms.
Travel through the centuries with librarian Georgia Prince as she introduces us to rare books held in our Heritage Collections
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