A selection of publications, pamphlets and booklets from various sources including library and City Council publications and items from our collection.


Several publications relating to Akaroa.


Canterbury Society of Arts Catalogues, 1881 - 1914

A collection of visual arts publications mostly digitised in partnership with the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.

Early Christchurch and Canterbury

Address of his Honor, the Superintendent on opening the Seventeenth Session of the Provincial Council of Canterbury, N.Z., 22nd October, 1861.
Address by William Sefton Moorhouse, opening the first session of the third Provincial Council of Canterbury. The address provides an overview of the development of the Canterbury province, economic growth and general progress in the previous year.
Christchurch Suburban Directory 1879
Described by the publisher as comprising an alphabetical, trades and street directory for Christchurch, also an alphabetical list of inhabitants in the suburbs, together with all information with regard to customs tariff, railway fares, postal and telegraphic charges, cab, carters’, and watermen’s fares, as well as all general information useful to the public.
Stray leaves from the early history of Canterbury
by George R. Hart. Christchurch [N.Z.] : Printed at the Office of "The Press" [1889].
The Southern provinces almanac, directory, diary and year-book 1864, 1865, 1866, 1868
The Almanac was published annually from 1853 to 1892. As well as Christchurch and Lyttelton other Canterbury towns are listed. The Almanac includes a review and commentary on the events of the preceding year. It contains listings of businesses, associations, central and provincial government officials and departments; and a trades and occupations directory. Includes postal, port, customs and other regulations; army lists; details of religious bodies, charitable organisations and various societies.
Sumner by J.F. Menzies, 1941
A history of Sumner, written by J. F. Menzies, Sumner Town Clerk, in 1941, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sumner as a borough.


Grand November Show : to be held in the grounds of the Association, Colombo Street, Christchurch
The programme for the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association’s exhibition contains event listings, competition rules, prizes, lists of members and advertising. Christchurch, N.Z. : Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, 1886.
ImageNew Zealand International Exhibition Christchurch, 1906-1907
Digitised publications relating to the 1906 Christchurch International Exhibition.
Wars and Conflicts
Publications relating to the two world wars.

Māori and pre-European settlement

Old Maori place names round Akaroa harbour
By Louis J. Vangioni with supplementary notes by D.J.C. Pringle. Published by Akaroa Mail, 1967
Riccarton Bush: a remnant of the kahikatea swamp forest formerly existing in the neighbourhood of Christchurch, New Zealand
Edited by Chas. Chilton, 1924.
Waihora: Maori Associations with Lake Ellesmere
By W.A. Taylor, 1944.


Address of his Honor, the Superintendent on opening the Seventeenth Session of the Provincial Council of Canterbury, N.Z., 22nd October, 1861.
Address by William Sefton Moorhouse, opening the first session of the third Provincial Council of Canterbury. The address provides an overview of the development of the Canterbury province, economic growth and general progress in the previous year.
Canterbury Public Library Publications
Canterbury Public Library was the former name for Christchurch City Libraries.
Christchurch City Council Publications
Digitised publications of the Christchurch City Council such as yearbooks and architectural guides.
Christchurch Lunatic Asylum Annual Report, 1868
The Asylum’s second annual report for 1868 written by E.W. Seager, the asylum superintendent. The report lists registration, treatments, entertainments and employment for the patients, as well as a case study of a cure and statistics.
CoverOpawa Public Library carnival : Johnson’s Picnic Gardens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13, 14, 15
Pamphlet advertising an event to raise funds for stocking and equipping the Opawa Public Library. Contains a short history of the efforts to establish the library, fund raising activities, lists of local people and some local history of the Opawa and Heathcote areas. 1936.
The Oxford Terrace Baptist Church Diamond jubilee souvenir, 1871-1931
Includes a history titled Pilgrims : a sketch of the history of Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, Christchurch, New Zealand written by E. J. D Hercus (1877-1951).
A paper advocating the formation of a North Canterbury defence league
The author’s concern about a war between the British Empire and Germany leads him to propose the formation of a league to defend the port of Lyttelton and Canterbury. 1909.
Revised rules & regulations, together with a list of the officers and members now forming the Christchurch Volunteer Fire Brigade, founded 7th Nov., 1860.
1862 regulations and rules for the Christchurch Volunteer Fire Brigade. Includes a list of members and officers; and a listing of members for the No. 1 and No. 2 engines.
St. Martins Public Library, 1927-1948
A short history of the St. Martins Public Library outlining the efforts to set up and finance the library.
The story of the South Island Methodist Orphanage and Children’s home, Christchurch
A history of the orphanage and childrens home in Papanui opened in 1914; published after the first twenty years of operation. Includes photographs of the buildings, staff and children.
Wardens’ handbook
One in a series of handbooks for Emergency Precautions Scheme (E.P.S.) Wardens during WWII.

People and biographies

Christchurch Writers’ Trail
The Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors has, with generous assistance from The Community Trust, now laid 32 writer’s plaques in various parts of Christchurch. This booklet features brief writers’ biographies and photographs, and includes a map to help you find the plaques commemorating each writer.
CoverRich man, poor man, environmentalist, thief
Biographies of Canterbury personalities written for the Millennium and for the 150th anniversary of the Canterbury settlement by Richard L. N. Greenaway.
Unsung Heroines
Biographies of Christchurch women written to commemorate Women’s Suffrage Year, 1993 by Richard L. N. Greenaway.

Promotional material and advertising

Canterbury - New Zealand : of all the countries of the world this is where you would choose to labour and live
Promotional pamphlet from the Canterbury Progress league advertising the benefits of Canterbury to industry and to potential migrants. 1921.
cover imageChristchurch, New Zealand, city of beautiful gardens and parklands, tourist centre of the South Island
Publicity pamphlet developed by the Junior Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the City Council. Includes a four-page itinerary with outings from half-day to one week, with prices. 1945?
New Brighton, New Zealand : Canterbury’s playground
Pamphlet advertising the general attractions of New Brighton, published by the New Brighton Publicity Committee and the Canterbury Progress League. Includes local information and history of the area. 1923
The Spur, Sumner : the property of S. Hurst Seager…
A pamphlet advertising the auction of the Spur properties designed by Samuel Hurst Seager. Includes floor plans, views of the cottage interiors, and general descriptions of the cottages. 1914
Tourists’ guide to Canterbury, 1902
A guide to Christchurch and Canterbury attractions, published in 1902 by P.A. Herman, proprietor of Warner’s Hotel. The guide includes advertising and photographs of buildings for local businesses as well as a number of articles about the attractions of Christchurch and Canterbury.


Condemnation of land reclamation at Lyttelton, 1913
Pamphlet authored by Joshua Little, an elected member of the Lyttelton Harbour Board, outlining his views on, and opposition to, land reclamation in Lyttelton.
How to research the history of a house in Christchurch
This pamphlet gives a brief outline of where to look for information, and what can be found.
The Summit Road : its scenery, botany, and geology, 1914 NEW - May 2013
This booklet contains articles by Blanche Baughan, Leonard Cockayne and Robert Speight on various aspects of the Summit Road, with an introduction by Harry Ell, and a brief mention of the work of the Summit Road Association. The booklet contains illustrations, panoramic profiles of the Port Hills, and a relief map.
Telephone directory. Christchurch / New Zealand Post Office, 1922
A telephone directory from 1922 for Christchurch and surrounding areas. The directory includes an alphabetical listing, a classified directory of business telephone subscribers, advertising, and instructions and advice for using the telephone exchange.