National Library of New Zealand
|Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa|
|Location||Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Branch of||Department of Internal Affairs|
|Size||1,515,172 in General Collections|
5,333,500 in Alexander Turnbull Library
|Director||Rachel Esson (Te Pouhuaki National Librarian)|
The National Library of New Zealand (Māori: Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) is New Zealand's legal deposit library charged with the obligation to "enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations" (National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga) Act 2003). Under the Act, the library's duties include:
- "[providing] for the preservation, protection, development, and accessibility, as appropriate, for all the people of New Zealand, of the collections of the National Library";
- "collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and
- "supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and
- "working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes, including those forming part of the international library community."
The library supports schools through its Services to Schools business unit, which has curriculum and advisory branches around New Zealand. The Legal Deposit Office is New Zealand's agency for ISBN and ISSN.
The National Library of New Zealand was formed in 1965 when the General Assembly Library, the Alexander Turnbull Library, and the National Library Service were brought together by the National Library Act 1965.
The General Assembly Library was founded from money voted by Parliament in 1856 and soon became "a magnificent national treasure house in a splendid building". From its beginnings until it became the National Library, it always comprised a parliamentary information service of documents and newspapers plus an extensive library of international research and literature. The Alexander Turnbull Library was founded in 1920 and grew to hold a "comprehensive collection" of primarily New Zealand culture and history, Maori and non-Maori. The National Library Service, established in 1945, was made up of four divisions: the Country Library Service, the School Library Service, a National Library centre and Library School in Wellington.
In 1980, the Archive of New Zealand Music was established at the suggestion of New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn.
In 1985, the General Assembly Library returned to become part of the parliamentary Service, changing its name in 1987 to the Parliamentary Library. When it separated from the National Library, the National Library then took guardianship of hundreds of thousands of international volumes previously acquired by the General Assembly Library, and the National Library continued to curate the traditional international library. In 1987, staff and collections from 14 different sites around Wellington were centralised in a new National Library building, officially opened in August. The architecture of the building is said to have been heavily influenced by the design of the Boston City Hall, but direct reference to the Birmingham Central Library should not be ruled out.
In 1988, the National Library became an autonomous government department where previously it had been administered by the Department of Education. The same year, the Library took on the Maori name Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, which translated means: the wellspring of knowledge, of New Zealand.
In early 1998 an ambitious $8.5 million computer project was scrapped.
The National Library building was to be expanded and upgraded in 2009–2011, but the incoming government greatly scaled down the scope of the work, reducing the budget for it and delaying the commencement, arguing concerns about the cost of the project and the reduction in the accessibility of collections and facilities during the construction work. The building closed for two years, reopening in June 2012, while refurbishment continued.
In June 2018 a National Archival and Library Institutions Ministerial Group (NALI) was announced. The purpose of NALI was to examine the structure and role of the National Library, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the position of the Chief Archivist and National Librarian, and the future of collecting, preserving and providing access to New Zealand's documentary heritage, particularly digital preservation and access. Before and since NALI was set up concern has been expressed about the National Library being part of the Department of Internal Affairs. Under the aegis of Department of Internal Affairs, operations began in 2018 to dispense with 625,000 "overseas published" books, out of a total of overseas published collections amounting to 710,000 items.
Overseas published collections review
In 2015, the National Library signalled the beginning of a review process of their international collections, comprising the General Assembly international library in its guardianship and substantial post-1965 acquisitions. The National LIbrary now called these collections "overseas published collections". This was done in consultation with New Zealand’s library sector. The review process was publicly announced in December 2019.
In September 2020, the review and weeding of overseas published book collections began to be discussed in the New Zealand media. The review attracted both positive and negative international and local media coverage. In October 2019, the library announced its intention to offer the books to local libraries, prison libraries, and community groups. The library stated the weeding was done to create "room to continue to grow our Māori, Pacific and New Zealand collections and to build well-managed coherent collections that support the National Library’s functions, in line with our legislated mandate and collections policy."
The review revealed that some of the books may be of pertinence to New Zealand/Aotearoan history and on-going narratives. Concerned that researchers would lose access, the weeding of over 600,000 books was challenged by the advocacy group Book Guardians Aotearoa. The books in question are housed in Wellington and Whanganui. In July 2021 the Library announced it had made a donation agreement with the Internet Archive to take the books and digitise them, making them available to researchers on their Open Library platform.
In September 2021, the Publishers Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Society of Authors lodged an appeal against the legality of the National Library's donation to Internet Archive with the attorney-general, arguing that the donation breached copyright law and expressing concern about the future of the books should the archive be ordered to close. In October 2021, British novelist Philip Pullman, the President of the British Society of Authors, criticised the donation for allegedly breaching copyright laws. Wellington QC Hugh Rennie also alleged that the National Library was receiving advice from a lawyer unauthorised to practise in New Zealand, in response to Tohatoha copyright adviser Michael Wolfe's statement in support of the donation agreement. The lawyers Andrew Brown QC and Jack Oliver-Hood also opined that the deal made the library liable for copyright infringement in New Zealand courts.
The Library states that the Internet Archive uses controlled digital lending to "prevent illicit copying and ensure that copies are loaned to one person at a time" and that "controlled digital lending provides a way to ensure protection for content creators as well as the ability for people to be able to access and use the work that's been created." The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) issued a statement in support of controlled digital lending and highlighted the degree to which the COVID-19 pandemic made clear the need for legislation to enable libraries to provide temporary digital access to library holdings.
The overseas published collections project is supported by the library sector including the Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL), Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) and the Library Information Advisory Committee (LIAC), which advises the Minister of Internal Affairs.
Several groups (PANZ (Publishers' Association of New Zealand), New Zealand Society of Authors, Book Guardians Aotearoa and a group best defined as the Creative Sector) have been opposing moves to donate the 600,000 books to an overseas company, for various reasons and by various means. Organisations that protect writer and publisher copyright (PANZ, NZSA (PEN NZ)) are most concerned with illegal copying of some of those books, whereas Book Guardians Aotearoa and the creative sector argue for augmented government funding for correct storage, cataloguing, publicity and accessibility of the international, general collections, while also opposing donation for digitisation or future sale. The Creative Sector is most concerned with the preservation and conservation of all of the library's extensive, high-quality international collections.
National Library of New Zealand/He Tohu
The He Tohu exhibition is housed in the Library and displays three nationally significant documents from Archives New Zealand's holdings:
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi (1840)
- He Whakaputanga / Declaration of the Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand (1835)
- Women's Suffrage Petition / Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine (1893)
The National Library's collections are stored in the main building in Wellington and several other locations in New Zealand such as the former National Computer Centre in Whanganui. The library has three main groups: the General Collections which includes New Zealand published and overseas published volumes, the Schools Collection, and the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library. Physical access to some of the collections may be requested through digital portals, and digital acquisitions are possible through products and online resources.
The General Collections focus on supporting the information needs of New Zealanders through services to individuals, schools and researchers, with notable collections such as the Dorothy Neal White Collection. The Schools Collection contains books and other material to support teaching and learning in New Zealand schools.
Alexander Turnbull Library
The Alexander Turnbull Library was founded in 1919 by Alexander Turnbull (1868–1918), whose bequest to the nation included the 55,000 volume nucleus of the current collection. In later years, the library made its own acquisitions and his bequest was augmented with books from the General Assembly Library collections. The Alexander Turnbull Library is now part of National Library but its books are fully protected by law and may not be sold or otherwise disposed of by the Direction of the National library. Unlike the general collections of the National Library, the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, are normally held in its Wellington building, the National Library building constructed in 1987. Turnbull House, the library's former location in Bowen Street in downtown Wellington, is now managed by Heritage New Zealand. It is named after It is charged under the Act to:
- 'Preserve, protect, develop, and make accessible for all the people of New Zealand the collections of that library in perpetuity and in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga'; and
- 'Develop the research collections and the services of the Alexander Turnbull Library, particularly in the fields of New Zealand and Pacific studies and rare books'; and
- 'Develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of documents relating to New Zealand and the people of New Zealand.'
Turnbull collected the works of John Milton extensively, and the library now has holdings of Milton's works which are "ranked among the finest in the world" and "good collections of seventeenth-century poetical miscellanies and of Dryden material, ... along with fine sets of literary periodicals."
Chief librarians of the Alexander Turnbull Library have been:
- Johannes Andersen, 1919–1937
- Clyde Taylor, 1937–1963
- John Reece Cole, 1963–1965
- Austin Graham Bagnall, 1966–1973
- Jim Traue, 1973–1990
- Margaret Calder, 1990–2007
- Chris Szekely, 2007–present
The Friends of the Turnbull Library (FoTL) is an incorporated society that supports the work of the Alexander Turnbull Library by organising events, activities and offering an annual research grant to a scholars using the library’s resources. FoTL also funds the publication of the Turnbull Library Record which publishes information about the activities of the library and showcases the Library’s collections. First published in 1940, digital issues of The Turnbull Library Record are available through Papers Past.
Turnbull Library Collections
The library houses a number of specialty collections:
- Archive of New Zealand Music
- Cartographic Collection
- Drawings, Paintings and Prints
- Ephemera Collection
- Manuscripts and Archives
- National Newspaper Collection
- New Zealand and Pacific Book Collection
- New Zealand Cartoon Archive
- Music, Sounds and Audio-visual Collection
- Serials Collection
- New Zealand Web Archive
- Oral History and Sound
- Photographic Archive
- Rare Books and Fine Printing
- General Collection of Books relating to New Zealand and the Pacific
- Turnbull Named Collections.
The unpublished material held by the Turnbull Library can be searched in Tiaki.
Services to Schools
The National Library has been providing support to schools since 1942 and the current service operates from centres in Auckland and Christchurch. Services to Schools has three priorities:
- reading engagement
- school libraries
- digital literacy
School libraries can keep up-to-date with research on school libraries, and gain advice on management, finance and staffing, collection management, library systems, and teaching and learning. Reading engagement encompasses advice on supporting children's reading and children's and young adults literature. Digital literacy supports the school library's role in developing digital literacy and inquiry learning.
Other services include:
- The Lending Service loans fiction and non-fiction books to schools and home educators
- Teaching and Learning Resources makes available a range of databases and curated resources to teachers and students. AnyQuestions is an online reference service for all New Zealand school students
- Professional and Learning Support for school librarians and educators via courses, events and online methods.
National Digital Heritage Archive
Established in 2004, the National Digital Heritage Archive is a partnership between the National Library, Ex Libris and Sun Microsystems to develop a digital archive and preservation management system. A digital storehouse, the system ensures that websites, digital images, CDs, DVDs and other 'digitally born' and digitised items that make up the Library's growing digital heritage collections will, despite technical obsolescence, be preserved and remain accessible to researchers, students and library users now and in the future.
The Papers Past website, run by the National Library of New Zealand, provides free access to digitised newspapers, magazines, journals, letters, diaries, and parliamentary papers from the 19th and 20th centuries. It was launched in 2001.
Index New Zealand
Index New Zealand (INNZ) is a freely accessible online index of articles from journals, magazines and newspapers covering New Zealand and the South Pacific, with some links to the full text of articles.
- Geoff Alley, 1964–1968
- Hector M. Macaskill,1969–1972
- David C. McIntosh, 1972–1975
- Mary Ronnie,1976–1981
- Peter G. Scott, 1982–1997
- Christopher Blake, 1997–2002
- Penny Carnaby, 2003–2010
- Bill Macnaught, 2011–2020 
- Rachel Esson, 2020–present 
- "National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003". New Zealand Government. 5 May 2003. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
- National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003, section 3
- https://www.parliament.nz/en/visit-and-learn/how-parliament-works/fact-sheets/history-of-library/ accessed 27 November, 2021
- Parliament's Library 150 Years, John E. Martin, Crown Copyright, 2008
- "Country Library Service – Mobile Books!". DigitalNZ. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
- Catherall, Sarah (22 August 2009). "National Library: Bookworm heaven vs wow factor". The Dominion Post. p. D2.
- "Our history | About the Library | National Library of New Zealand". natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- Gifford, Adam (19 January 1999). "Library systems miss out on NZ technology". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "$69m plan to extend National Library". Stuff. 26 May 2008.
- "Concern over plans for National Library". The Dominion Post. 10 February 2009. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012.
- Hunt, Tom (6 August 2012). "National Library re-opens to researchers". The Dominion Post. Fairfax NZ News. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "State sector changes to improve performance". The Beehive.
- "National Archival and Library Institutions Ministerial Group – dia.govt.nz". Dia.govt.nz. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
- Gilling, Don (26 February 2019). "What's needed for the National Library, Turnbull and Archives". Wellington.Scoop. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
- David Larsen (20 January 2020). "The National Library cull of 600,000 books could be a disaster for researchers". The Spinoff. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
- "National Library makes more room for New Zealand and Pacific stories". Natlib.govt.nz. 18 December 2019.
- "'Weed in the dead of night': A librarian shares the secrets of book-culling". Thespinoff.co.nz. 4 February 2020.
- "Viewpoint: Weeding is essential for healthy library collections". Librariesaotearoa.org. 15 October 2020.
- Roy, Eleanor (11 September 2020). "'I literally weep': anguish as New Zealand's National Library culls 600,000 books". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- Corlett, Eva (13 September 2020). "National Library in middle of first major cull of international books". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 16 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- "Overseas Published Collections — collection management project". National Library of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 17 October 2020.
- Lee, Jonathan (19 December 2020). "A cultural and intellectual impoverishment". Book Guardians Aotearoa. Archived from the original on 13 July 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
- Gordon, Rosie (12 October 2020). "Book Guardians Aotearoa group to challenge National Library planned cull of 600,000 books". Newshub. Archived from the original on 15 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
- Tweed, Mike. "National Library collection at Whanganui's Wairere House to be redistributed". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021.
- Chumko, Andre (12 July 2021). "National Library signs 'historic' agreement to donate 600,000 books to online archive". Stuff. Archived from the original on 17 October 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "National Library signs historic agreement with Internet Archive". 13 July 2021.
- Chumko, Andre (15 September 2021). "Attorney-General asked to investigate National Library-Internet Archive deal". Stuff. Archived from the original on 17 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
- "Controlled digital lending – is it 'piracy'?". 24 July 2021.
- Chumko, André (18 October 2021). "International concern about Internet Archive-National Library deal". Stuff. Archived from the original on 17 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
- "Overseas Published Collections — collection management project". natlib.govt.nz. 15 October 2021.
- "IFLA releases a statement on Controlled Digital Lending". Ifla.org. 16 June 2021.
- "Proactive release of Ministerial approval and letters from LIAC and CONZUL relating to the management of the National Library's Overseas Published Collections (pdf, 2.2MB)" (PDF). Dia.govt.nz. 25 November 2020.
- "National Library's plan to digitise and preserve books draws wide support from New Zealand civil society organisations". Tohatoha.org. 21 July 2021.
- "Criticism in response to the agreement has come from the creative sector and members of the public." Internal Affairs aide memoire, 26 July, 2021, released under the NZ Official Information Act
- "Writers pen anthology about National Library books donation as divide deepens". Stuff.co.nz. 28 July 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
- "The National Library disposing of tens of thousands of books?". Rnz.co.nz. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
- "Ten writers at public protest against National Library plans to get rid of books". Wellington.scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
- "Treaty of Waitangi moved to new Wellington home under cover of darkness". The Dominion Post. Stuff. 22 April 2017. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- "National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003". New Zealand Legislation. Parliamentary Counsel Office. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
- "Historic Wellington buildings transfer" (Press release). New Zealand Department of Conservation. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
- "Purposes of Alexander Turnbull Library". New Zealand Legislation. Parliamentary Counsel Office. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
- "Turnbull, Alexander Horsburgh". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Edited by A.H. McLintock, originally published in 1966.
- Oliver, Fiona (4 September 2018). "The Turnbull Library Record: Past and Future". natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Our work". National Library Services to Schools. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Buchan, Jo (March 2018). "National Library's Services to Schools helping to create readers". Library Life. 465: 26.
- "Services to Schools". National Library Services to Schools. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- "National Digital Heritage Archive". National Library of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "About Papers Past". Papers Past. National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
- "Index New Zealand (INNZ)". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
- "Scott, Peter, 1941–". tiaki.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- "Blake, Christopher Hugh, 1949–". tiaki.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- "Carnaby, Penny, 1949–". tiaki.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- Millen, Julia (2010). Te Rau Herenga: a century of Library Life in Aotearoa 1910–2010. Wellington: LIANZA. p. 222. ISBN 9780473175795.
- Chumko, Andre (16 January 2021). "Bill Macnaught, champion of libraries and the knowledge economy". Stuff. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
- "National Library announces new National Librarian — Te Pouhuaki". natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
- "National Library announces new National Librarian — Te Pouhuaki". Scoop. 11 November 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Library of New Zealand.|
- Publishers Association of New Zealand protectors of publisher rights regarding digitisation
- New Zealand Society of Authors, protectors of author copyright regarding digitisation of works
- Book Guardians group including researchers and public figures opposed to NZ National Library policy of mass depletions whether of public domain works or of those still within copyright
- Creative Sector opponents of NZ National Library mass depletions whether of public domain works or of those still within copyright
- Friends of the Turnbull Library
- Official website
- Video of protest against National Library of New Zealand's donation of its international library to Internet Archive