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Last updated: 7 January 2020

Auckland Libraries, Sir George Grey Special Collections

About Auckland Libraries, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Manuscripts and archives are located in Sir George Grey Special Collections, level 2, Central City Library, 44 Lorne Street, Auckland.

The New Zealand manuscript collection relates particularly to Auckland and Northland, from the 19th century through to the present day. Current collecting concentrates on performing arts, social action and community groups, music, literary papers, women’s organisations, Maori collections and personal papers and diaries.

The Grey manuscript collection consists of manuscripts collected or produced by Sir George Grey. The material relates to his political and colonial career, both in and outside New Zealand, and his interest in languages. Included in this collection are manuscripts by Captain James Cook and Sir Joseph Banks, writings by satirist Peter Pindar and material about Madagascar.

The Grey Māori manuscripts and letters consist of material written in the Māori language, reflecting Grey’s philological and cultural interests, as well as his political alliances.

The Grey letter collection consists of about 3,000 letters written mostly to Sir George Grey, but occasionally to other correspondents both in and outside New Zealand. There are also a few letters written by Grey.

Medieval and Eastern manuscripts are described on the library catalogue.

We have 69 collections in The Community Archive (with a total of 262 items) »

Facilities and services

Contributor type:

  • Public library

Archive types:

  • Art or literature
  • Business archives
  • Central government records
  • Local government
  • Māori archives
  • Military records
  • Personal papers
  • Religious archives
  • School records
  • Voluntary group archives, clubs, societies, etc.

Research services:

If you’re researching a special project or topic, we’re happy to help. You can access records for free or staff can research on your behalf.

Reproduction services:

There is an ongoing digitisation programme of material held in Sir George Grey Special Collections. To request images of material not already digitised please contact the Manuscript Collections Librarians.


Charges apply to in-depth research, including whakapapa and family history, and the retrieval and supply of articles, including community newspapers. NOTE: Fees exclude photocopying, printing, and postage charges. Research fee -- first 30 minutes free, then $20.70 (per half hour). Many images can be freely downloaded from heritage websites in the Digital Library. Copyright restrictions may apply. TIFF/JPEG files (per image) $15.50. Supply of images on disc/USB $8.30. Reproduction fees -- Commercial use of images (per image) $103.30.

Visitor information

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri 9.00am-5pm. Sat 10am-4pm

Physical access:

Advance notice of visit appreciated but not obligatory. Some collections restricted, as noted on the website catalogue. Preservation photocopies of the Grey manuscript collections and other frequently used manuscripts are available in the Reading Room.

Contact details


42-44 Lorne St

Postal address:

PO Box 4138
Auckland 1015

Phone number:

  • +64 9 8902481

Fax number:

  • +64 9 3077741