The Research Library and Archive Collection is housed at the Museum's Research Facility, Isel Park, Hilliard St, Stoke, Nelson.

The facility will be open, by appointment only, Tuesday to Friday, 12.30pm to 4.30pm. The facility will be closed Saturday to Monday inclusive.

Contact the Museum to arrange a visit: or

Research by staff is available at $60.00 per hour in half hour steps.

You are welcome to make an appointment to undertake the research yourself with guidance from staff on the resources held. Contact the department you wish to use.

Research Archive resources include:

  • Diaries, manuscripts, correspondence of early settlers, transcriptions of voyages out to Nelson from the “Motherland”, daily life of farming activities, information on businesses, organisations and individuals. Biography and subject reference files are available onsite at the Research Facility.

  • Archival group listings for individuals, families, groups, businesses, associations, some schools and indexed scrapbooks of Nelson Tasman history not yet available on Papers Past.

  • Map and architectural plan collection dating from 1842.

  • Passenger indexes, 1840s-1880s

  • Nelson censuses 1845 and 1849

  • Jury lists 1843-1861

  • Return of the freeholders of New Zealand 1882

  • Directories for business and address information – Lucas’ Almanac, Stones and New Zealand Post Office directories and Nelson/ Tasman telephone directories, 1894, 1902, 1919, 1922 – (series not complete)

  • Indexed Birth, Death and Marriages (BDM)

  • Drowning in New Zealand index 1840-1875

  • Marriage and baptism records for Catholic, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches in Nelson and Tasman

  • School admission, progress and withdrawal registers (not all school records held)

  • Obituaries index

  • Cemetery records

  • Name index to the Nelson Provincial Gazette 1853-1875

  • Anniversaries Index: Nelson 1842-1963 (from NEM, 1963)

  • Golden Bay Colonist Index, 1857-1858, 1860, 1870-1871, 1875, 1877, 1879, 1880

  • Nelson Board of Works: Name index to inwards correspondence, 1857-1872

  • Ancient Order of Foresters. Court Robin Hood: Register 1863-1901

  • Ancient Order of Foresters. Court Sherwood Forest: Register 1887-ca. 1907

  • Index to the Nelson Volunteer Rifles, no. 1 Company, 1861-1862

  • Index to Nelson Rifle Volunteers’ Nominal Roll 1910-1911

  • Diary transcripts for WWI diaries:

    • Spear diaries

    • Weeks diary

    • Roper

    • Huffam

  • F.G. Gibbs diaries transcripts

More digitised information to follow for manuscript and archival group lists.

Phone the Archive:

03 547 9740

Leave a message on the voicemail if unattended.