Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Tuku Ihotanga me te Hītori o te motu Heritage & Local history

Browse our heritage guides and new material below or search for heritage images and material online.

Recent items — NZ & Local History

Wellington Recollect

Wellington Recollect

Explore Wellington's digital heritage treasures. A Wellington City Libraries' project.

Wellington Architecture

Architecture

The architecture of our city is a reflection of our history over the past 150 years. From simple wooden houses, to streamlined Art Deco housing blocks.

Trams in Wellington

Trams in Wellington

For the 86 years between 1878 and 1964, public transport in Wellington was dominated by the tram.

The sinking of the Wahine

The Sinking of the Wahine

Though there have been worse shipping disasters in New Zealand with far greater loss of life, the sinking of the Wahine in 1968 is by far the most well known.

1981 Springbok Tour

1981 Springbok Tour

The 1981 Springbok tour became one of the most divisive events in New Zealand history.

Wellington Waterfront

Wellington Waterfront

For over a century, much of what we now consider to be open public space was locked away from the average citizen with a line of stern buildings and wrought iron gates.

Heritage Films

Heritage Films

Selected and digitised from a small collection of motion picture films held in the Wellington City Archives, plus films of Wellington from Digital NZ.

Earthquakes in Wellington

Earthquakes in Wellington

In 1855, an earthquake struck the Wellington Region, permanently altering its landscape. Measuring 8.2, it was New Zealand's most powerful earthquake.

Suburb Guides

Suburb Guides

Did you know... Brooklyn was established in 1852 by John Fitchett senior as a dairy farm? Or that Berhampore was named after a place in Bengal?

Oral Histories

Oral Histories

Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews.

Digitised Books

Digitised Books

Early New Zealand published works relating to Wellington, digitised and made available online.

Local History Databases

Local History Databases

Library local history databases and indexes, searchable online. Includes The Evening Post Clippings Collection.

Wellington Newspapers

Wellington Newspapers

There have been many attempts at establishing newspapers in Wellington over the last 180 years, but two became our local papers of record for a century or more — The Evening Post and The Dominion.

Maori Te Whanganui-a-Tara pages

Māori Te Whanganui-a-Tara pages

Te Whanganui-a-Tara heritage and history — information about our legends, tupuna and important documents.

Genealogy Guide

Genealogy Guide

Interested in tracing your family history in New Zealand? Read our Genealogy Guide.