Auckland Library Heritage Trust

The Auckland Library Heritage Trust was formed in 1991 as a charitable trust. It seeks financial and other support to assist Auckland Libraries and Auckland Council to preserve, care for, add to, and promote the Sir George Grey Special Collections for the benefit of the people of Auckland.

The Trust is independent of Auckland Council. The Trust receives donations to help enrich the collections and make them more accessible.

These renowned collections provide us with a sense of Auckland’s identity and intellectual heritage, parts of which are yet to be discovered and shared.

The collections include heritage manuscripts, photographs, maps, books, letters and other documents, many of which are of particular rarity and value. The Trust works closely with Auckland Libraries’ specialist heritage staff.


  • Colin Davis (Chairman)
  • Judith Bassett
  • Linda Bryder
  • Max Cryer
  • Dinah Holman
  • Mac Jackson
  • Russell Stone.

Trustees’ expertise includes governance, law, rare books, history, medieval manuscripts, works of Shakespeare, heritage music, historic places, art, and social history.

Development of the collections

The Trust has attracted several donations and bequests. Examples are:

  • manuscripts and a number of 17th- and 18th-century books
  • 117 books relating to Admiral Lord Nelson.

Significant projects funded by the Trust include:

  • digitising and preserving 4500 First World War photographs of soldiers, many posing with their families 
  • microfilming the first 3400 issues of The New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, from 1932 to the 1960s, reflecting the dramatic changes in our social history
  • obtaining funds for cataloguing the Reed-Dumas collection through a joint venture between the Government of France, the former Auckland City Council and the Trust. This is the most extensive collection of material relating to Dumas outside France.

Auckland Library Heritage Trust scholarship

The scholarship is funded by the Trust and is awarded annually to a research scholar who has a particular interest in items in the Sir George Grey Special Collections. 

The scholarship seeks to:

  • raise the profile of the Sir George Grey Special Collections
  • encourage scholarly research based on material held in the collections.

The scholarship is open to overseas applicants as well as New Zealand citizens.

Previous winners have used the collections to research rare Japanese woodblock books, Middle Eastern manuscripts and the Jazz Age in Auckland.

Promotion of the collections

To celebrate and promote the rich variety and depth of the Sir George Grey Special Collections, the Trust has produced:

The book and greeting cards are available for purchase from Auckland Libraries.

To support the work of the Trust

Contact the Trust to discuss:

  • donation of items
  • a financial gift that will help to preserve vital documents, books and manuscriptions
  • a bequest in your will.

Contact Colin Davis (Chairman) by email: or

Did you know?

The first item printed in New Zealand was a small six-page booklet in Māori,  Ko te Katekihama III (The Third Catechism). It was printed at Kerikeri in 1830 by Rev. William Yate. Only two copies survive, one in Special Collections at Auckland City Libraries, the other at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.