The Alexander Turnbull Library is a 'library within a library'. Established in 1920 after Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull gifted his collection to the nation in 1918, its collections and services are now housed within the National Library building.

The Turnbull Library collections are based on Turnbull's personal collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, paintings and sketches.

Over time the collections have been built through donation, bequest, legal deposit, and targeted purchasing to contain millions of items.

More about donations and bequests

Published research collections

Published collections of the Turnbull Library contain books, magazines and journals, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, music, websites, and other items that are published.

Cartographic Collection (maps)

New Zealand and Pacific Book Collection

New Zealand Serials Collection

National Newspaper Collection

New Zealand Music, Sound, Audio-visual

New Zealand Web Archive

Printed Ephemera Collection (posters, advertisements, programmes etc)

Turnbull General Collection (items relating to areas outside New Zealand and the Pacific, based on Alexander Turnbull’s personal collecting interests)

Turnbull Formed Collections (items gathered by other influential collectors, or formed around particular collecting themes and topics)

Special Printed Collections (rare books and fine printed items)

Unpublished research collections

Collections of unpublished items, like original manuscripts, oral histories, photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, and cartoons, are organised by format.

Manuscripts Collection

- Archive of New Zealand Music

Oral History Centre

Photographic Archive

Drawings, Paintings and Prints

- New Zealand Cartoon Archive

Turnbull Library Pictures

Printed Ephemera Collection

Cartographic Collection

Access items in the collections

Search for descriptions of published items from the Turnbull Library collections, and some digital images of maps, using the National Library Catalogue.

Search for descriptions of unpublished and pictorial items from the Turnbull Library collections using TAPUHI.

Digital copies of many items are also available at the National Library Beta.

Accessing the collections

Get help

The catalogues do not list all of the items in the Alexander Turnbull Library but you can get help from staff to find out what else we hold.

Contact Details
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