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Celebrate the city's heritage for Auckland's birthday

Published: 25 January 2019
Auckland Centennial Regatta 1950. Photo Credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collection T2344

To celebrate Auckland’s anniversary, Auckland Libraries has wrapped the city’s heritage in an easy-to-explore package with Kura Heritage Collections Online.

Unwrap our heritage with the click of a mouse or swipe of a phone to discover over 600,000 historic documents and records.

Kura features a wealth of photographs and portraits, plans and personal letters – and that’s just the start. Before Kura launched, history enthusiasts had to access heritage items by trawling through dozens of databases. Now the content is easy for anyone to browse, download and share instantly – and still completely free.

Councillor Penny Hulse, Chairperson of the Environment and Community Committee, is excited about the launch and passionate about what Kura will offer to Aucklanders.

“It’s about giving the city the ability to access their heritage as easily and conveniently as possible,” she says.

“We want today’s Aucklanders and future generations to explore the stories of the past.”

“What’s particularly incredible is the range of content – you can peruse plans of Albert Park, photos of the Waitākere Ranges and then click through to see manuscripts from the other side of the world.”

A jewel in the collection is the Sir George Grey addresses from 1886. Essentially a giant birthday card presented to Grey for his seventy-fourth birthday, the addresses contain 13,000 signatures collected from individuals across the Auckland province. Decorated in the style of a medieval manuscript, the document offers a fascinating snapshot of the people of 1880s Auckland. And the chance to see if your ancestors made the list.

Sir George Grey addresses - Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections.jpg
Sir George Grey addresses. Photo Credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections

Not to be missed is the J.T Diamond Collection, with 70 years of diaries, maps and photographs from west Auckland spanning early Māori settlements to the city of the 1990s. Meanwhile, from beyond New Zealand’s borders comes items such as the Kulliyāt of Saʿdī Shīrazī manuscript, a rare book of Persian poetry, estimated to have been written in 1326 AD.

Kura will ultimately house more than two million items. With such broad coverage, Auckland Libraries believes there will be something of interest to everyone, and it will be particularly useful for family history enthusiasts, local historians, students and researchers. 

Head to Kura Heritage Collections Online at kura.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz for your research needs or to make some unexpected but delightful discoveries.

Takapuna wharf 1890 - Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections T5454.jpg
Takapuna wharf 1890. Photo Credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections T5454