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.
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.
- Unpublished records of local sporting, cultural or community organisations, clubs or societies.
- Christchurch City Libraries archives.
- Ephemera posters, handbills, programmes, catalogues.
- Manuscripts diaries, letters, scripts, church registers.
- Small oral history collection.
- More about the archives collection.
- Digitised archives in our digital collection.
- Read our interview with archivist Rosemary O’Neill.
- New Zealand material, with an emphasis on Canterbury.
- Unique index of baptismal, marriage and burial records for this region, transcribed from church registers.
- Headstone transcripts and cemetery records.
- The Registrar-Generals index of births, deaths and marriages.
- Electoral rolls parliamentary and local.
- The Alexander Turnbull biographies index.
- Published family histories and many other genealogical resources.
- Read our interview with Richard Greenaway, Genealogy Librarian.
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.
- 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.
- A collection of black and white photographs likely to be of historical interest with particular emphasis on Christchurch and Canterbury.
- Depictions of major events, social conditions, street scenes, architecture, fashion etc.
- The photograph collection is searchable through our catalogue and many images are available on our web site.
- Photographic print service available.
- 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.