Under the Public Records Act 2005 we have a mandate to care for and preserve the record of our government. We make sure that the records of historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand are well looked after and preserved for the future.
Our holdings are estimated at over 7 million items. They take up 110,000 linear metres of shelving space in our archives across the country. That’s about 112 kilometres when laid out end to end. Our archives include paper documents from the 1700s to the present day, as well as bound material, paintings and works on paper, audio visual materials, photographs, maps and plans, microfilm and digital records.
We work to preserve our collections of archival material by maintaining our storage environment to suit the needs of our records. Measures are taken to slow the rate of decay of precious objects and protect them from damage. These include methods of environmental control, storage, handling, pest control, and disaster planning.
Our preservation strategy focuses on records that are at high risk of loss or damage. This risk is due in part to the deterioration of materials, or to modern media becoming out of date and unreadable.
Our team conserve records by assessing their condition, treating them and ensuring they are appropriately housed. This can be in preparation for digitisation, exhibition, loan to other institutions, or for use by researchers in our reading rooms. Treatment of documents can include the removal of mould or dirt, the safe flattening of folded or rolled material, or repairs where material has suffered damage. Our staff digitise records to make fragile items accessible to researchers, and to help protect them from any further damage which may come with handling.
Preservation advice for information managers
Contact us if you have any specific conservation concerns, for example, flood damage and mould, packaging and environmental conditions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Preservation advice for the public
You can contact the National Preservation Office for advice and guidance about the precious taonga in your collections.
We offer a vacuum freeze drying service to organisations for disaster recovery of books, files and documents. The freeze drying process is used globally for the rescue of documents and heritage materials. It removes the water by sublimation while the objects are under a vacuum.
Freezing water damaged objects buys time for preservation decisions to be made. It also prevents any further damage from occurring. Wet items left unfrozen risk inks and dyes running, and mould growth.
Charge Cost (Incl GST) Consultative visits $90 per half hour Freeze dryer - machine hire $235 per day + GST Freeze dryer - associated labour $75 per hour + GST
To make an enquiry about this service, please email email@example.com
We welcome requests to loan items from our archives including the National Collection of War Art for use in public exhibitions in New Zealand and internationally.
If you wish to request a loan, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of the items you would like to borrow. We can check for access or preservation restrictions, before you make a formal request to the Chief Archivist.
Please allow six months before the intended opening of your exhibition.
You can view our loans policy here.
Last updated on 09 March 2022