Family history month at your local library!

Family history month at your local library!
Hilary Beaton
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Family history month at your local library!

Find out more about your whānau and community.


Whether you are an experienced researcher or just beginning your family history journey, Family History Month offers something for everyone!

This August, all around the country public libraries are hosting a varied programme of events, talks and workshops promoting their heritage collections and online services. So, make the most of your Local Library’s resources and discover your family's past.

Here are a few services to look out for: (note some can be accessed from home using your library card)

Ancestry Library Edition

Trace your family history using this popular genealogy database. Search records from the UK, Ireland, Europe, Australia, NZ and the Pacific Islands.


Search Census rolls, migration, probate land and parish records and more. 


Boasting 13 billion historical records from all around the world including birth, death, marriage, military, gravestone photos and much more. Offering collections not found elsewhere.

The British Newspaper Archive

Search over 700 British and Irish newspaper titles from the 1700s t0 2000. Includes news articles, photos and family notices. New Zealand accounts of visits to the UK, and more to help your whakapapa research.


The National Library of New Zealand has a digitised collection of NZ and Pacific newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries, magazines and journals, diaries and letter, and parliamentary papers.


Ask your local library if they use Recollect. This helps library users to easily search different types of collections bringing together information from different sources. Audio and video content is also able to be bookmarked and tagged to make important information easier to discover and access. Explore a selection of community-built archives from around New Zealand.


The Māori word for basket. This kete is an online version. Created by local communities, kete online stores and share heritage and cultural materials.

Caring for your collections.

The National Library in Wellington is responsible for the care and preservation of many of New Zealand’s most important books, archives, photographs, sound recordings and art works. There are many things that can be done to preserve your own precious items. The National Preservation Office was established to provide advice and assistance to those who hold heritage items of significance to all New Zealanders. They can help you to care for your own collections, whether they are kept in your home or marae.  

Hot Tip: drop into your library and ask to speak to the Heritage Specialist and start your adventure.

Good luck!

With thanks to Upper Hutt Libraries.

Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library

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