The purposes of the Alexander Turnbull Library, as defined in the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003 are:

  • 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
  • to develop research collections and the services of the Alexander Turnbull Library, particularly in the fields of New Zealand and Pacific studies and rare books; and
  • to develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of documents relating to New Zealand and the people of New Zealand.

The National Library Act (2003) confirmed that the Turnbull collections are owned by the Crown, to be held in perpetuity.

View the National Library Act (2003) on NZ Legislation website

The role of the Alexander Turnbull Library

The role of the Alexander Turnbull Library is to enrich public understanding of the present and the past of the land and peoples of New Zealand and the Pacific through

  • the comprehensive collection, documentation and permanent preservation of texts, images and sound recordings
  • the promotion and support of research on, publication from, and creative use of the collections.