Introduction to Family History Resources

This guide primarily discusses resources available from Christchurch City Libraries, which you will be able to find on our catalogue. The library concentrates on 19th century immigration from Britain. There are limited resources on alien immigrants. This guide also provides links to international sources of information.

Aotearoa New Zealand Centre

The Family History Centre at Tūranga from 12 October 2018 houses family history resources, microfilm newspapers and Ngā Pounamu Māori and the Ngāi Tahu collections.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Centre focuses on Christchurch and Canterbury and has limited information on the rest of New Zealand.

The collection’s unique resource is the Church Register Transcripts. The guides to Births, Marriages and Deaths give further details of what the registers can provide.

Family History Computers

There are dedicated research computers at our Family History Centre at Tūranga from 12 October 2018, Central Library Peterborough, Upper Riccarton Library and Fendalton Library.

Using the Family History Centre

  • No appointment is necessary
  • ID will be required for some items: a current library card is preferred
  • Those wishing to use archival material should discuss their needs in advance with a staff member
  • Microfilm and microfiche readers are available free of charge
  • Bookings for equipment are not made, but there is a limit of 15 minutes use if people are waiting
  • Microprints and photocopying are available in A4 & A3 sizes
  • Digital cameras may be used in the library but photographing or photocopying is not permitted from bound newspapers or older, rare, or fragile material. In some cases photographs of this material may be ordered

Please ask a librarian if there’s anything you need. We are here to help.

Other sources of material

Many genealogical resources created by libraries and museums will be catalogued by those organisations: see our list of New Zealand libraries for online access to other libraries’ catalogues.

The Community Archive: National Register of Archives and Manuscripts provides details of holdings of diaries and collections of letters.

Some libraries have published guides:

Other guide books for researching a family tree are on the catalogue at subject headings such as: