What is The Community Archive

The Community Archive is a hub for New Zealand’s archival organisations to showcase their collections. It is a free, easy to use mini archive management system supported by Archives New Zealand.

Previously known as the National Register of Archives and Manuscripts (NRAM), The Community Archive has been developed to provide many new features requested by contributors.

NRAM was originally published from 1979 to 1993 in paper format. It was the successor to the Union Catalogue of New Zealand and Pacific Manuscripts in New Zealand Libraries first published in 1954, with interim editions in 1968 and 1969.

In 1998, a project to redevelop NRAM as an electronic database was initiated by the NRAM Taskforce. The electronic database includes most of the collections reported to the paper format NRAM (except for those collections in the A,B, and C volumes which are held in the Alexander Turnbull Library), as well as many collections reported in more recent years.

The NRAM Taskforce had representatives from the following organisations:

  • New Zealand Society of Archivists
  • Archives and Records Association of New Zealand
  • Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa / Te Rau Herenga o Aotearoa 
  • National Library of New Zealand - Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa
  • Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

A substantial grant from the Lottery Grants Board NZ enabled the initial redevelopment of the database to take place. This was supplemented by additional funding from each of the above organisations as well as the Stout Trust. This funding, coupled with the co-operation and commitment of contributing repositories and the dedication of a small group of volunteers, sustained NRAM for six years until July 2004 when the New Zealand Government provided ongoing funding enabling Archives New Zealand to look after NRAM at part of its Community Archives programme.

In June 2009, Archives New Zealand re-launched NRAM as The Community Archive after extensive redevelopment to include new features requested by contributors over the years. It also now includes the entries from the Directory of Archives in New Zealand.