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If you need to see a record that isn’t available online, you can either: 

  • order a digitised copy of the record 

  • view it in a reading room

  • pre-order records to view in a Reading Room using this form.

We have four reading rooms around the country – in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. We can’t send records from one Archives building to another – if you want to see an item in person, you’ll need to visit the archive that holds it.  

Visit Collections search to check where a record is held

Opening hours and contact details 

Visit us during our reading room opening hours.


Street Address
95 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere, Manukau 2022, New Zealand
Postal Address
PO Box 201103, Auckland Airport, Manukau, New Zealand
Phone Number
(64-9) 270 1100
(64-9) 276 4472
Email Address
Reading Room Hours

Monday – Friday 9am – 1pm

View map


Street Address
10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand
Postal Address
PO Box 12-050, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone Number
(64-4) 499 5595
Email Address
Reading Room Hours

Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm

View map


Street Address
15 Harvard Avenue, Wigram, Christchurch 8042, New Zealand
Postal Address
PO Box 642, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Phone Number
(64-3) 377 0760
Email Address
Reading Room Hours

Monday – Friday 9am – 1pm

View map


Street Address
556 George Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Postal Address
PO Box 6183, Dunedin North, Dunedin, New Zealand
Phone Number
(64-3) 477 0404
Email Address
Reading Room Hours

Monday – Friday 9am – 1pm

View map

Order records and book a visit 

You can order up to 5 records at a time: 

  • online 

  • in the reading room, on the day of your visit. 

Sign up with RealMe before you order 

Before we can order your items, you’ll need to: 

  • provide us with your contact details 

  • have a RealMe account. 

Don’t worry if you haven’t got a RealMe account – you can sign up for one and provide us with your contact details on our Collections search site. 

Visit Collections search to sign up with RealMe

Find out why we’re using RealMe

Online ordering 

Use our online form to order items. Remember to include: 

  • the item IDs and names of the records you want to view 

  • the day you want to visit 

  • proof that you have permission to see any restricted records you’ve ordered – find out where to get this on the record page in Collections search. 

Fill in the Reading room access request form 

Reading room ordering 

You can order more records in the reading room on the day of your visit. You may need to return some items first, so you don’t have more than 5 at a time. 

Reading room order times 

If you order an item in the reading room, it may take up to an hour to arrive. 

Help with research and ordering 

If you need help with your research, have a question about a record, or aren’t sure how to make an order, you can find guidance on our website or ask us for advice. 

Research tips 

Read our research tips for guidance about researching in the archives, advice for students and links to useful online resources. 

Get research tips and guidance 

Research guides 

If you’re learning about a new topic, our research guides are a great place to start. Find out what archives we have on your topic, how to find them, and what information they contain. 

See all our research guides

Ask an archivist 

Send us a question about your research, and an archivist will respond. 

Fill in the Ask an archivist form

Using the reading rooms during COVID-19

Everyone who visits Archives plays an important part in keeping our staff, collections and other researchers safe.

Read our policy on visiting Archives during COVID-19

Reading room rules 

Our reading room rules help us protect our archives and make sure all our researchers get the most out of their time in the reading rooms. These are the most important. 

  • Never take an archive out of the reading room. 

  • Respect other researchers by keeping your voice low and your phone on silent. 

  • Be polite to our staff. 

Find a full list of rules in our Reading room guidelines 

What to bring in and leave outside 

These items are not allowed in the reading rooms: 

  • pens 

  • food or drink 

  • bags or suitcases 

  • computer covers or cases 

  • coats 

  • umbrellas. 

All our reading rooms have lockers you can use while you visit. 

You can bring the following items into the reading rooms: 

  • pencils 

  • laptops 

  • paper 

  • clear plastic bags 

  • cameras 

  • mobile phones (on silent). 

Photos, scans and copies 


You can take photos of records on: 

  • your phone 

  • a camera. 

You don’t need to get permission to do this, and there’s no charge.  


In some reading rooms, you can use your own handheld scanner to make copies of records. We’ll need to check your device first, as some scanners can damage our archives. 

It’s a good idea to bring a camera or phone with you as backup, in case your scanner isn’t suitable. 

Copying service 

Our staff can make copies of records for you – ask at the Staff desk. 

Find out how much our copying service costs 


Disabled parking is available at all our reading rooms. Contact us before you visit, and we’ll book you a space. 

Some reading rooms have extra parking spaces: 

  • Auckland has 10 free spaces. 

  • Christchurch has 6 free spaces. You can park for free close to the reading room, on Harvard Avenue. 

  • Dunedin has 6 free spaces.