A brand new information space at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office gives first-time researchers and other visitors an insight into the nation’s heritage.
Archives New Zealand’s acting chief executive Greg Goulding says the ground floor public area has been redeveloped to improve customer service. “The Gateway information space is the first port of call for all who enter the Wellington building in search of details about New Zealand heritage,” he said.
Situated in the ground floor public area, the revamped reading room gives researchers a dedicated space where they can carry out their work. They can take a break from their research in the new readers lounge. There is also an audio-visual area where people can view stories from the past through the National Film Collection and a purpose-built register room for historic documents from Land Information New Zealand.
“People coming into Archives New Zealand are often looking for probates, wills or war records of family members – or they are researching some part of our country’s history,” Mr Goulding said.
“Our holdings date back to the 1800s and include thousands of documents, photos, maps and audio-visual material. They help people find out more about how we were founded as a nation; and how we have matured as a country.”
These extensive holdings include shipping lists from 1860 to 1970s, Land Information New Zealand maps and registers, New Zealand Defence personnel files from World War One, Māori Land Court minute books, Blue Books of New Zealand Statistics, National Film Unit collection, National Collection of War Art and much more.
Collections from the National Library of New Zealand are being housed in the Archives’ Wellington office while the library undergoes redevelopment. These include Alexander Turnbull Library manuscripts, rare books, oral histories and photographs and the National Library’s research collection of pre-1940 children’s books.
The Gateway and revamped ground floor customer area was officially opened on 24 March by the Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand Hon Nathan Guy.