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If you're researching family history and genealogy, Napier Libraries has many great resources to help you on your journey of discovery. 


The Library holds Introductory and Intermediate Genealogy courses each term.  Introduction to Genealogy is designed for those new to family research.  This class will show you how to search effectively and explore different features of popular websites such as and  To sign up for this free class, check out our Free Digital Skills Workshop page

Intermediate Genealogy is for those already confident in basic genealogy.  This class has an emphasis on records held by Napier Libraries and other council facilities, cemetery searches, and alternative information sources.  To sign up for this free class, check out our Free Digital Skills Workshop page.

Research help:

Our Research Librarians have pulled together this useful guide to help you get started in genealogy:

If you would like any help finding your way through our resources, we have a Research Enquiry service available, or you can ask our friendly staff.

Library Collections:

We have a range of useful online resources, which can be accessed on our Digital Content page.  We recommend you start with these:

  • Ancestry - please first login through the library online calalogue, login, then click home, then click on the database page link and then click on the Ancestry link.
  • British Newspaper Archive - note: British Newspaper Archive is only available for use within the library.
  • FamilySearch - you will need to sign up to the FamilySearch site the first time you use it and log in each time you use the site.
  • FindMyPast - note: FindMyPast is only available for use within the library.
  • Papers Past

To complement our online resources, Napier Libraries holds several collections that are useful in genealogy and family history research - from books to magazines, aerial maps to deposit plans, we have something that will help you on your journey of discovery.  Come and talk to us to find out more.  Special collections include:

  • Aerial Maps - previously owned by Land Information New Zealand, these crown photos cover the Napier and Hawke's Bay land district.
  • Deposit Plans - historical deposit plans previously owned by Land Information New Zealand.  The early plans were destroyed in the fires after the 1931 earthquake, so many of these had to be reproduced.  Collection ends approx. 2000.
  • Microfiche and Microfilm - Burial Index, Divorces 1946-1966, Index to Births 1840-1990, Index to Deaths 1848-1990, Index to Marriages 1840-1990.
  • Newspaper Index - an index of birth, death, and marriage notices from The Daily Telegraph and Hawke's Bay Today.  
  • Oral Histories - interviews with local people on events, e.g. Hawke's Bay earthquake and post-quake rebuild.
  • 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.

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