Introduction to Family History Resources
This guide primarily discusses resources available from Christchurch City Libraries, which you will be able to find on our catalogue. The library concentrates on 19th century immigration from Britain. There are limited resources on Alien immigrants. This guide also provides links to international sources of information.
Aotearoa New Zealand Centre
While the Central Library is closed due to earthquake damage the Family History Centre at Central Library Manchester will house family history resources, microfilm newspapers and Ngā Pounamu Māori and the Ngāi Tahu collections.
The Aotearoa New Zealand Centre focuses on Christchurch and Canterbury and has a limited concern with the rest of New Zealand.
Using the Family History Centre
- No appointment is necessary
- ID will be required for some items: a current library card is preferred
- Those wishing to use archival material should discuss their needs in advance with a staff member
- Microfilm and microfiche readers are available without charge
- Bookings for equipment are not made, but there is a limit of 15 minutes use if people are waiting
- Microprints and photocopying are available in A4 & A3 sizes
- Digital cameras may be used in the library but photographing or photocopying is not permitted from bound newspapers or older, rare, or fragile material. In some cases photographs of this material may be ordered
Please ask a librarian if there’s anything you need. We are here to help.
Other sources of material
Many genealogical resources created by libraries and museums will be catalogued by those organisations: see our list of libraries for online access to other libraries’ catalogues.
The Community Archive: National Register of Archives and Manuscripts provides details of holdings of diaries and collections of letters.
Some libraries have published guides:
- Researching family history: in the collections of Auckland City Libraries
- The Department of Internal Affairs manages all Birth, Death and Marriage records. You can search and order Births, Deaths and Marriages records, subject to some restrictions, from Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records.
- Archives New Zealand have produced a series of Reference Guides, containing summaries of their commonly used records
Other guide books for researching a family tree are on the catalogue at subject headings such as:
- Genealogy - Bibliography - Catalogues
- New Zealand - Genealogy and related sub-sections of this such as:
- Genealogy by region e.g. Otago Genealogy or Canterbury Genealogy