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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Special Libraries

The table opposite shows the largest special libraries in New Zealand. Special libraries within New Zealand are still centred largely round research institutions and societies, professional associations, and museums as well as the university special schools. The modest degree of industrial expansion within New Zealand has not yet been matched by a corresponding development of library and information services, although the clear need for such if the country is to keep abreast of development has been stressed many times. By overseas standards there are no more than half a dozen smallish libraries attached to commercial and industrial organisations. A technical and commercial library service to industry through the public library system and certain special libraries has been planned and discussed but not so far introduced.

The Department of Agriculture, in addition to its head office library, includes those of the Wallaceville Animal Research Centre (1898; 10,000 vol.); Ruakura Agricultural Research Centre (1945; 8,000 vol.); and Rukuhia Soil Fertility Station. Other departmental collections of varying research and administrative function are maintained by the Health Department, the Army, the Ministry of Works, Forest Service, and Education Departments, with smaller libraries in other Departments.

Special Libraries (Collections above 10,000 vols.) Holdings, January
Agriculture Department (Wellington) 37,300
Air Department Reference (Wellington) 16,083
Air Publications (Wellington) 16,425
Applied Mathematics Laboratory (Wellington) 11,277
Auckland Institute and Museum 63,190
Auckland School of Engineering 16,855
British High Commission (Wellington) 10,993
Canterbury Museum 10,300
Central Military District (Wellington) 11,536
Chemistry Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (Lower Hutt) 41,411
Correspondence School (Wellington) 26,818
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Central Library (Wellington) 18,307
Dominion Museum (Wellington) 22,042
Dominion Physical Laboratory (Lower Hutt) 26,250
Education Department (Wellington) 19,095
New Zealand Forest Products Ltd. (Auckland) 10,784
Fruitgrowers Chemical Co. (Nelson) 17,793
Geological Survey (Lower Hutt) 18,892
Geo. Forbes Memorial (Lincoln) 17,895
Health Department (Wellington) 34,592
Hocken (Dunedin) 14,397
Knox College (Dunedin) 20,889
Lands and Survey Department (Wellington) 15,370
Law Society (Auckland) 24,200
Law Society (Christchurch) 14,100
Law Society (Wellington) 16,420
Marion Davis Memorial (Auckland) 16,567
Medical, Christchurch Hospital 14,293
Medical (Dunedin) 49,795
Mount St. Mary's Seminary (Greenmeadows) 26,636
Naval Research Laboratory (Auckland) 41,940
Patent Office (Wellington) 50,414
Plant Diseases Division (Auckland) 10,609
Portobello Marine Biological Station 11,049
Reserve Bank (Wellington) 12,299
Ruakura Agricultural Research Centre (Hamilton) 12,675
St. John's Theological College (Auckland) 11,200
Selwyn College (Dunedin) 11,053
Statistics Department (Wellington) 14,916
University of Manawatu, General 35,734
University of Manawatu, Massey 34,354
Wigram RNZAF Station 25,564
Ministry of Works, Central (Wellington) 38,074

The Royal Society of New Zealand (1867; 20,000 vol.) has been able to build up a valuable series of periodicals and other serials largely through exchanges. The Cawthron Institute (1920; 6,000 vol.) also has significant and unique holdings. Again, the sets in the Polynesian Society library (1892; 5,000 vol.) include important ethnological material not available elsewhere in the country.

New Zealand library buildings show stronger links with the past than any other aspect of service. Until some 10 years ago buildings were largely a once worthy but increasingly embarrassing Victorian – occasionally Georgian – heritage. However, a long overdue programme of replacement is getting under way. In the public library sphere, a number of interesting war memorial buildings have been designed. Notable among these are New Plymouth, Lower Hutt, Hastings, Papatoetoe, and Takaka. With Takaka, Wairoa is an interesting example of attractive and functional small library design. Plans for the first stage of the Auckland Public Library have been completed as also have plans for extensions at Dunedin.

University libraries, as mentioned, have survived by extension into class rooms. Construction of combined arts and library blocks in Victoria and Otago universities is now completed. The George Forbes Memorial Library at Canterbury Agricultural College, Lincoln, was opened in 1960.

Next Part: State Libraries