Naming the Collection

The Grey Collection and other rare and fragile items relating to both New Zealand and the rest of the world, were brought together in one area in the Central Library in 1997. The area housing the Grey Collection was known as Special Collections, while collectively the collections were known as the Heritage Collections: Te Taumata o ngā Taonga Tuku Iho.

In August 2009, Special Collections was renamed Sir George Grey Special Collections: Ta Hori Kerei - Nga kohinga taonga whakahirahira, in acknowledgement of the generous gift of 14,000 items by one of New Zealand’s most important historical figures.

Materials in the Sir George Grey Special Collections are wide and varied.  Visit the Auckland City Libraries' website to find information relating to the collections:
Rare books
Historic and rare maps
Heritage music materials
Oral history

“Auckland City Libraries is unique in New Zealand in possessing the earliest and most important printed material of both European and Māori cultures. The early Māori material is rivalled only by that in the National Library in Wellington…; the early European material – the incunabula, the Caxtons, the Chaucers and its crowning glory, the four Shakespeare folios – is unrivalled anywhere in this country.” – Rowan Gibbs, book historian and heritage consultant.

Did you know?

That the oldest book in the Library is a manuscript written in Greek dating from the early 12th century, so about 900 years old. It is a lectionary, a collection of readings from the Gospels for Sundays.

Greek Gospels Med MS G.124