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Local History

If you're interested in local history, the Library holds a large range of information as part of our Heritage Hawke's Bay Collection.  Items in the collection are available at both our Napier and Taradale library. 

  • Heritage Hawke's Bay Collection - an in depth collection covering family histories, local histories, the Oral History Archive, historical deposit plans, and more.  This includes newspaper clippings of articles relating to Hawke's Bay, and Hawke's Bay buildings.
  • Maps - includes a wide variety of New Zealand maps, street maps, topographical maps, National Parks, local soil maps, and some historical maps. 
  • Newspaper holdings - The Daily Telegraph since 1881, The Hawke's Bay Herald 1877-1904, and an index of birth, death, and marriage notices from The Daily Telegraph and Hawke's Bay Today.
  • The Irene Lister Archive - located at Taradale this is a small collection of photographs, indexed records of Taradale people with births, marriages, and deaths, articles about Taradale people, events buildings, index cards refer to information found in books, cemetery records and private collections.


We have a wide range of useful databases, which can be accessed on our Digital Content page.  Key resources for local history are:

archives new zealand4Archives New Zealand

Archives New Zealand preserves and protects more than seven million official records, from 19th century treaties to 21st century documents and data.  Their goal is for all New Zealanders to easily access and use this taonga, connecting you to your rights and entitlements and stories - now and for the future.

hbearthquake2Hawke's Bay Earthquake

Shortly after 10.45am on Tuesday 3rd February 1931, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale struck the Hawke's Bay area.  This site is dedicated to all those who lost their lives, and includes lists of casualties and injured.

National library5Index New Zealand

Index New Zealand is a searchable database that contains abstracts and descriptions of articles from more than 1,000 New Zealand periodicals and newspapers published from the 1950s to the present day.  Around 3,000 new records are added monthly from 460 titles.

maori maps3Māori Maps

Find your way to the tribal marae of Aotearoa New Zealand - through maps, information and photographs - through the digital gateway of Māori Maps.  Te Potiki National Trust gathers the information for Māori Maps from public sources, and holds it in trust for our beneficiaries, the marae of Aotearoa New Zealand.

MTG6MTG Hawke's Bay Tai Ahuriri

Hawke's Bay's award-winning musem, home of the region's taonga and other treasures.

NCC4Napier City Community Profile

The Napier City Community Profile includes demographic analysis for the city and its suburbs based on the results from the 2013, 2006, and 2001 Censuses of Population and Dwellings.  The profile is updated with population estimates when Statistics New Zealand releases new figures.

National libraryNational Library of New Zealand

The National Library of New Zealand collects, connects, and co-creates knowledge to power New Zealand.  The National Library has a wide range of collections including books, magazines, audio, websites, Turnbull archival collections, and more.

heritage nz4New Zealand Heritage List Rārangi Kōrero

Search the New Zealand Heritage List Rārangi Kōrero for information about New Zealand's significant heritage places, including Ngā Manawhenua o Aotearoa me ōna Kōrero Tūturu/National Historic Landmarks.

NZ HistoryNew Zealand History Nga korero a ipurangi o Aotearoa

The New Zealand History website covers a wide range of topics including culture and society, politics and government, New Zealand at war, hands-on history, and resources for the classroom.  You can search by topics, events, people, and places, for everything you need to know about New Zealand history.

ngatiNgāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated is a mandated iwi organisation with the authority to represent the people of Ngāti Kahungunu, and is the Governing body for all aspects of Iwi development.  This site includes information on governance, operations, our people, and events.

retrolens2Retrolens Historical Image Resource

Retrolens is made up of a treasure trove of aerial photographs that have been taken since 1936 through to 2005.  It is a Crown archive and contains 500,000 images.  The photos were taken for a range of reasons such as land management and mapping.  The value of these images is in showing change across New Zealand. 

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Positive progress on remedial building work
We are currently anticipating that public areas of the library will be open by the end of March or early April.
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Hop on the buses! We're partnering with GoBay Buses to get you to Taradale Library.
Have your library card ready and travel from Napier to Taradale return for free.
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