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.
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 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.
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.
- Auckland Museum
- Archives New Zealand - nationwide
- Archives Christchurch - various hut information
- Alexander Turnbull Library - Wellington
- Canterbury Museum - Christchurch
- Hocken Library - Dunedin
- South Canterbury Museum - Timaru
- South Canterbury Historical Society (Mt Cook hut books donated by SC Section - Haast (formerly King Memorial Hut), Ball, Hooker, Mueller all pre 1940's - SCHS records went to the South Canty Museum, but they no longer have these books - whereabouts uknown 2009. DOC have deposited their own books with Archives NZ, but these particular ones aren't listed there.
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.
Bill Keir has compiled an inventory of hut log book locations as at September 2011. The inventory can be viewed here: Hut Log Books of the New Zealand Backcountry (PDF, 46KB)
Two recent (2011) editions to our Hocken Collection are the Pioneer Hut 2008-2010 and Porter Lodge 2001 - 2008 log books.