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 New Zealand Alpine Club Reference Library
The NZAC’s Reference Library is a collection of mountaineering literature covering both New Zealand and international climbing and history. We also display there some of the wonderful climbing items donated by past and present members. Whether you are wanting to carry out research on the Club itself or NZ climbing history general, or would just like to check out the latest information for an upcoming climb, it is hoped members will be able to find what they need from this valuable Club resource.
Historic information on the Club’s NZ Alpine Journal with links to past issues available for purchase may be found at NZAJ Past Issues
The same has been set up for the history of The Climber magazine at The Climber Past Issues
The NZ Alpine Journal has been digitalised following a joint project involving the Linguistics Department of the University of Innsbruck (Tirol, Austria) and the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC). The goal of this project was to digitise the New Zealand Alpine Journal (1892-2014) and to make it freely available via the internet. Search the NZAJ Digital Archive
- Should you find any significant error (such as a page missing for example) in the digital archive, please advise the Club via this email.
- Searching for an article or topic in the digital NZAJ can be assisted by making use of the PDF NZAJ Index 1892 – 2018 which, once downloaded, is searchable using the Find function.
- This is a news post explaining the history behind setting up the digital archive: Digital Journal News Post Announcement
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:
General Search Page: http://hakena.otago.ac.nz/nreq/Welcome.html
New Zealand Alpine Club Bulletin (1946 – 1991): direct search result as these are a very useful research item
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 email@example.com 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 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 1970s 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
- Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is a charitable trust. They care for an ever-growing collection of films, radio, television, sound recordings, props and documents spanning 120 years of Aotearoa’s sound and moving image history. Films relevant to both NZAC and NZ Alpine History may be found there. Below is a selection that has connections to NZAC members as an example. Please visit the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision website to search for more and let us know if you come across any of relevance that we may link here.
– The Opening Ceremony of Syme Hut, Mt Egmont 1930
– Building Huts, a personal record by Tainui Robins (1902-1989)
- 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 unknown 2009. DOC have deposited many of their own books with Archives NZ, but these particular ones aren’t listed there.
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 the ‘Heritage’ sidebar menu at the right of this article. There are also some films online viewable through this website as follows.
The Club has a Vimeo account where you are able to view some historic footage of past Club events as follows. Original film material is deposited with Ngā Taonga Sound and Film Archive as noted above.
- Norman Hardie’s May 2015 talk on the First Ascent of Mt Kangchenjunga
- Arthur’s Pass Veteran members meet 1990
- Alpine Guides Reunion held at the Hermitage Mt Cook 10-11 October 1981
- The Mueller and Tasman Glaciers 1929 with commentary by Frank Drewitt
Hut Log Books
Bill Keir has compiled an inventory of hut log book locations as at March 2014. The inventory can be viewed here: HUT LOG BOOKS Inventory Bill Keir 2014 updated (PDF, 250kb) 2014 version updated with corrections March 2017
Additional log books deposited into our Hocken Collection, but not included in the above inventory yet, 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.
- Ruapehu Hut – 31 May 2002 – 3 February 2017
- Moraine Creek Hut (Hollyford Valley) – 31 October 1970 – 19 January 1979 Note: last hut book ever as the hut was damaged by an avalanche and removed in 1983. Hut was built by the Southland Section in 1959
- Homer Hut (Hollyford Valley)
– 6 January 1966 – 13 March 1977 (first hut book, which also crosses over with next hut book)
– 20 July 1973 – 21 September 1977 (crosses over with previous hut book)
– 1 April 1994 – 5 January 1997
- Arthur’s Pass Lodge – 16 May 2004 – 15 January 2016
(Added 2018) Centennial Hut 17 November 2005 – 1 October 2009 (Note: DOC Visitor Book)
(Added 2019) Westland huts logbooks for Aspiring, Cascade, Colin Todd Huts, Esquilant Bivy and French Ridge Hut courtesy of the Department of Conservation. NZAC Hut log books sent to Hocken Collection 06062019