Haere ki ō mātou rūma pānui
Visit a reading room
Find opening hours and addresses for our reading rooms in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.
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.
Opening hours and contact details
Visit us during our reading room opening hours.
Order records and book a visit
You can order up to 5 records at a time:
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.
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.
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.
Read our research tips for guidance about researching in the archives, advice for students and links to useful online resources.
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.
Ask an archivist
Send us a question about your research, and an archivist will respond.
Using the reading rooms during COVID-19
Everyone who visits Archives plays an important part in keeping our staff, collections and other researchers safe.
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.
What to bring in and leave outside
These items are not allowed in the reading rooms:
food or drink
bags or suitcases
computer covers or cases
All our reading rooms have lockers you can use while you visit.
You can bring the following items into the reading rooms:
clear plastic bags
mobile phones (on silent).
Photos, scans and copies
You can take photos of records on:
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.
Our staff can make copies of records for you – ask at the Staff desk.
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.