What we look after

Books and pamphlets

  • A comprehensive collection of books about New Zealand.
  • Most material published about or in Canterbury.
  • Poetry, fiction and drama (especially with local content).
  • School, church, club and society histories from throughout New Zealand.

Government publications

A comprehensive range of central and local government publications including Parliamentary papers, official reports, annual plans and annual reports, district schemes and other planning documents.


  • All statistical publications originating for Statistics New Zealand.
  • Other statistical reports produced by government departments.
  • Statistics from the National Health Information Service.
  • Access to census information.


  • All statutes, regulations and bills.
  • General legal texts and practical manuals suitable for the layperson.
  • Guides to interpreting legislation.
  • Subscriptions to looseleaf publications in areas of general interest e.g. family law, employment law.


Genealogical material

Newspapers and newspaper indexes

  • Early Christchurch newspapers including the Lyttelton Times (from 1851); The Press (from 1861); The Star; The Sun; the Weekly Press and the Canterbury Times.
  • A selection of other Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand newspapers – contemporary and historical holdings.
  • An index to the contents of a Christchurch daily newspaper has been maintained since 1851.
  • Some of our newspapers are held on microfilm.

For more information about using newspapers at Christchurch City Libraries please refer to our newspapers guide.

Māori material

  • Material on Māori subjects or which present a Māori perspective on a subject.
  • Material by authors who identify as Māori.
  • Māori language publications.
  • Material published by, or relating to, Ngāi Tahu as tangata whenua including Ngāi Tahu Claim information.
  • Much of this is in the Ngā Pounamu Māori Centre.


  • Contemporary and historical maps of Christchurch and Canterbury. Some of the historical maps have been digitised.
  • Current New Zealand topographical maps.
  • Current New Zealand street maps.
  • National Park and track maps.
  • Soil maps.
  • Geological maps.
  • Nautical charts for local areas (not updated for navigation).
  • Find out more about our Maps collection.



  • Theses which complement and add depth to the Collection.
  • Theses in geography, history, politics with local content.
  • Artistic, literary and cultural topics which have few other printed resources.
  • Theses which include research conducted in Christchurch or Canterbury.
  • Find out more about our Theses collection.