Dunedin Family History Group

Otago and Southland related research

McNab Collection

Genealogy Room







Dunedin Public Libraries
230 Moray Place, Dunedin 9016
P.O. Box 5542, Dunedin 9058
New Zealand.
Phone  +64 03 474 3690
Fax: +64 03 474 3660

Heritage Collections are located on the third floor of the City Library.


The Heritage Collections are available for use during normal City Library operating hours:

Heritage Collections

Welcome to the Dunedin Public Libraries Heritage Collections.

Here you will find information about our extensive range of original artworks, along with information about our genealogical resources, the McNab New Zealand Collection, the Reed Special Collections and the Reed Gallery.

The Heritage Collections hold more than 120,000 volumes of books, journals, manuscripts, newspapers and pamphlets, as well as archival and genealogical material.

These collections preserve the memory of our culture and are accessible to all in the present day, as well as in the years and decades to come.

While everyone is very welcome to use the Heritage Collections, these materials are for reference only and certain restrictions are placed upon their use. This helps to ensure their long-term care and preservation for future generations.

To date approximately 95% of the McNab New Zealand Collection and 70% of the Reed Special Collections are available in the online catalogue.

A certain proportion of material, however, is not available online, so please contact the Heritage Collections’ staff with any enquiries.

Genealogy Room

On the third floor of the City Library you will find our dedicated genealogy room.

Part of the McNab New Zealand Collection the genealogy room houses many resources for finding New Zealand family history and whakapapa information.

As well as the basics such as birth, deaths, burial and marriage information, we can help with street directories, business directories, electoral rolls, military and civil lists, school magazines and printed family histories.

Also held is a complete set of the Otago Daily Times and Otago Witness on microfilm, as well as several other regional newspaper titles.  The Southern Regional News Index is a useful tool to facilitate access to relevant information in these titles.

For those researching Maori genealogy, the McNab collection holds Peter Garven’s six-volume Genealogy of the Ngai Tahu. Also available are reports from the Waitangi Tribunal.

Membership Cards

From 7 November 2011 customers will need a Dunedin Public Libraries membership card to be able to access material in the Heritage Collection.

Temporary Heritage cards are available if you are not eligible for membership, on proof of ID

Digital Resources Search – Dunedin Public Library

19th Century UK and US newspapers, Ancestry Library Edition, Find My Past (Australian, UK and Irish Editions), Gale Newsvault,  Papers Past, The Times Digital Archive.