New Zealand Alpine Club Archives Collection

The collection and preservation of documents, correspondence, photographic material, diaries, scrapbooks and relics relating to mountaineering is an important aspect of the Club's activities.

Hocken Archives

The Club's policy is deposit archives with the Hocken Library, University of Otago, Otago. The library staff will assist researchers and can make available copies of material. Some exceptions exist such as some hut books which have been deposited in Wellington through the DoC archive system by mistake. These are still available though to members and the public for research.

For web access to the NZAC archive catalogue see the Hocken Library site at:

Search Page: http://hakena.otago.ac.nz/nreq/Welcome.html

Painting Search: http://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/

Photograph Search: http://marvin.otago.ac.nz/photos/photos_search.php

The catalogue is the Hakena system which can be accessed via this URL, or you can try to email archives [dot] hocken [at] library [dot] otago [dot] ac [dot] nz or ring 03 479 8875. Please note that the archives are for in depth NZAC historical research only, not for general mountaineering or climbing inquiries.

Indexes of some of the material at the library can be downloaded in PDF format. If you are unable to view this format please visit the site www.adobe.com to obtain a free download of the software.

Items 1864-1988 - various personal papers, photos, lantern slides, Otago Section papers (PDF, 195KB)

Items 1930's-1989 Headquarters, personal papers, hut books, Otago Section papers, ski mountaineering, miscellaneous (PDF, 22KB)

Items 1932-1960 - Wellington Section Records
(PDF, 147KB)

Items 1930-1992 - Robert Bruce Willis Papers (PDF, 210KB)

Further Items 1892-2008 - Additional Index 2009 (PDF, 1.37MB)

From time to time The Climber contains information on the NZAC deposits held by the Hocken Library - refer, in particular, to NZ Climber #4, 1992, p38.

Deposit conditions are:

  • The Archives are on deposit in the Hocken Library with ownership remaining with the Club.
  • The Club may borrow individual items for its administrative purposes.
  • Researchers may consult the Archives only in the Library's Reading Rooms.
  • Any restrictions on access to items will be observed by the Hocken Library.
  • Historic mountaineering relics (e.g. climbing equipment) are deposited in the Antarctic Wing of the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch. This museum also holds the Kennedy Collection of early lantern slides.

Items held in other institutions

Old Club Bulletins revealed that during the 1970's when the decisions were being made as to where Club records were to be held, many were scattered around various other New Zealand archives. Following is a list of places known to have received NZAC material for their collections. Should anyone know of other facilities holding NZAC records, we would appreciate hearing from you, so that we can add them to our list for future reference. Please click on their name to access their websites for enquiries.

Historical Member Information

While most documents are being transferred to the Hocken, some historical and current information on the Club's more prominent members can be found under Special and Historical Members.

Hut Log Books

 10 April 1940-29 August 1956Chancellor Hut Log Book : 10 April 1940-29 August 1956

Bill Keir has compiled an inventory of hut log book locations as at March 2014. The inventory can be viewed here: Hut Log Books of the New Zealand Backcountry (PDF, 52KB) version March 2014.

Additional log books to our Hocken Collection not included in the above are: (Added 2011) Pioneer Hut 2008-2010 and Porter Lodge 2001 - 2008. (Added 2014) Chancellor Hut 10 April 1940 - 29 August 1956 and Centennial Hut 5 February 1994 - 9 May 2000.