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What are archives and manuscripts?

Archives and manuscripts are non-current records and papers of organisations and individuals which are retained for their long-term value. These primary sources offer unique insights and provide first-hand accounts of events by those involved.

What types of material are held?

We hold extensive social, political and cultural archives relating to New Zealand and the Pacific, as well as University-related material, including the papers of academic staff and records of clubs and societies.

Archives are held in all formats, including paper, photographs, sound recordings, audio-visual material, posters, ephemera, some objects or realia, computer disks, memory sticks and hard drives.

How are the archives organised?

Archives are organised by provenance (i.e., origin) which preserves their context and ensures collections created by different agents are kept separate. This means that information on a given subject may be spread over a number of collections.

Archives are usually arranged hierarchically, often consisting of several levels:

material with some unifying characteristic usually assembled by a person, family group, organisation, or by an archival repository (an artificial collection).
records or papers which have similar format, information content or filing process.
a defined group of records or papers within a series.
a folder or unit with a unique number and title.
an individual unit within a file.

How do I search?

  • Start with broad search terms.
  • Use speech marks (“…..”) around phrases to search word strings.
  • Filter results using the options on the right side of the screen.
  • Click the "Collection Organization" tab to browse a full collection listing
  • Use the Print button to create a PDF of a full collection listing

How do I access the materials I find?

Not all material is held on-site and restrictions apply to some collections, so it is best to contact the relevant Repository to enquire about access and conditions of use. Please also check the Repository’s hours, location and procedures.

You are welcome to email a list of required items (include collection name, box/container and item/file number).

How do I cite archival materials?

Please view these citation examples.