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If you're researching family history and genealogy, Napier Libraries has many great resources to assist you. 

Check out our Genealogy Databases page for online research tools and also to find out about our Ancestry group and their next meeting date and time.

Napier Libraries also holds several collections useful in genealogy and family history research:

Heritage Collection

  • Secondary sources all about New Zealand - not comprehensive, but nevertheless a valuable collection
  • Includes: local histories, family histories, some whakapapa sources, school & church histories, guides to doing genealogical research, biographies, Waitangi Tribunal documents
  • Hawkes Bay section: incl. school yearbooks, family histories, local histories, etc: our aim is to collect all seconday source material related to this district. Although primary source material such as manuscripts or letters are welcome, the Berry Library at the Hawkes Bay musuem is probably more suited to holding this type of material.
  • Some lending copies of HC material are available: check the OPAC (computer catalogue)

Reference Collection

  • Genealogical Research Directory
  • Books on heraldry and surnames, Who's Whos, Burkes directories, Phillimore Atlas of Parish Registers


Newspaper Holdings

  • The (Napier) Daily Telegraph: all holdings since 1881 with some gaps
  • Mostly on microfilm but 1960-1980 in bound volumes only - there is a project to get these microfilmed
  • The Hawkes Bay Herald: 1877-1904 (see also
  • Indexing of birth, death, marriage notices, obituaries from The (Napier) Daily Telegraph & Hawke's Bay Today: in 3 sequences (1986 - 1999, 2000 - June 2002, and since July 2002) on our computer catalogues (OPACs).

Microfiche / Microfilm


Other Sources of Information

  • Napier City Council - Online Cemetery Database
  • Vertical File: newspaper clippings, articles relating to the Hawkes Bay district
  • Hawkes Bay buildings: book of clippings
  • Oral History: interviews with local people on events e.g. '31 earthquake, local businesses & organisations, people & daily life
  • Historical Deposit Plans donated by LINZ (ex Dept of Lands & Survey)
  • Telephone Directories: from 1974 onwards for the whole of NZ
  • Periodicals: e.g. NZ Memories, NZ Genealogist, NZ Heritage
  • Electoral Rolls: for the whole country on microfiche since 1853 (Some printed rolls for Hawkes Bay district incl. local district & parliamentary rolls).
  • NZ Gazettes
  • Interloans: access to holdings at NZ and International librarie. These libraries are only willing to lend some material, but we can investigate this for you
  • Taradale: Irene Lister Archive (now managed by Faye O'Neill) small collection of photographs, indexed records of Taradale people with births, marriages, and deaths, vertical file with clippings and articles about Taradale people, events buildings, index cards refer to information found in books, cemetery records and private collections.
  • Internet access
  • Library Staff: who can suggest further avenues of research, provide assistance with the use of the technology


Genealogy Gateways

Below are links that will provide gateways to great genealogy information. - A categorized & cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet. A list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online. A free jumping off point for you to use in your online research. A card catalog to the genealogical collection in the immense library that is the Internet. Your genealogical research portal onto the Internet.

Te Puna Web Directory Genealogy - Links and guides to the resources of the family history resources. The Births, Deaths and Marriages registry. The New Zealand section of a website designed for posting genealogy queries. There are many more topics.

Smarter Hobby Genealogy - A good getting started guide for beginners.

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If you need an excellent dictionary or encyclopaedia this Premium Collection includes a superb range of Oxford titles, updated regularly with an expanding range of key titles in the acclaimed Oxford Companions and Oxford Dictionaries series, plus the Visual English Dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and new heavily illustrated natural history titles such as the Encyclopaedia of Mammals.
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