Photographs - Wellington

In this Guide:

NB: Where possible, this HTML research guide contains direct links to Archway for items and series in the archival reference field.


Archives New Zealand in Wellington holds many photographic images, over 300 000 from the National Publicity Studios alone. These images are held in various formats and can be difficult to access. This guide provides information about the records and how to find and view the images.

This guide is organised by agency, focusing primarily on the National Publicity Studios.


Restrictions apply to many records. Negatives and small contact (test) prints are held in secure, temperature controlled stack areas. Access to them is through the Preservation Section of Archives New Zealand. Please organise access by first contacting or talking to an Archivist.


Permission to publish, which is free, is needed before any image sourced from Archives New Zealand is published. Please apply to the Group Manager of Access Services, providing the full archives reference and description of the file, and stating the title and format of the publication/website/documentary.


Although the National Publicity Studios were established in 1945, its beginnings can be traced back to the establishment in 1924 of a Publicity Office – part of the Department of Internal Affairs. The emphasis of this Publicity Office was on films, photographs and booklets.

The National Publicity Studios also has strong connections with the early Tourist and Health Resorts Department [AABO and AECB], established in 1901 with some focus on promoting the unique landscapes of New Zealand using photography.

At the end of the Second World War, the Publicity Office was divided into two parts - the newly created National Publicity Studios and the National Film Unit.

The purpose of the National Publicity Studios was to provide advice to government departments and state agencies on the provision of photographic, art, and display services and in particular to assist in the production of publicity material aimed at conveying a favourable image of New Zealand.

The National Publicity Studios was divided into two main sections:

  1. Photographic - photographers, laboratory, photo library and facilities for audio-visual production.
  2. Art - graphic art, display art, display workshops and silkscreen facilities.

In 1987, the National Publicity Studios was disestablished and replaced by Communicate New Zealand.

For more information see:

Accessing the Collection

Registers and Indexes
As a general rule, indexes and registers which are part of this collection contain the following information:

Negative registers contain:
negative reference, brief outline of subject shown, sometimes a date and photographer.

Negative card indexes contain:
a card for each negative (or sometimes a group of negatives, if taken of the same scene).

The cards contain information such as negative number, a fairly comprehensive outline of the subject (generally more information than in the corresponding negative register), and sometimes the name of the photographer and the date the photograph was taken.

Microfiche and Ticksheets
Card Index "A", "B", and "1/1" [AAQT 6428]
This index is held on 549 microfiche sheets in the Wellington Reading Room. These give access to the negative numbers of the three series:
"A" Black and White Negatives and Prints [AAQT 6401]
"1/1" Black and White Negatives and Prints (predecessor series) [AAQT 6403]
"B" Black and White Prints (successor series) [AAQT 6421]

Once a negative number is found, ticksheet binders of series 6401, 6403, & 6421, organised by negative number, can be consulted in the Reading Room.

The ticksheet binders list the photographic formats held for each image, e.g.: a negative or print or both. Negative description sheets and nitrate description sheets are also contained in these binders.

Negatives and Prints
Negatives and small contact (test) prints from these series are held in secure, temperature controlled stack areas, and access to them is through the Preservation Section of Archives New Zealand.

However, larger reference prints [Series 6403 & 6539 – the latter mainly 'A' 6401 & 'B' 6421 images] are available in the Reading Room (see below), arranged by negative number within each series. Enclosed in mylar (polyester) with a backing card to give better protection, the reverse of each print has brief details: negative number, photographer, subject, and date.

A selection of photographs from the National Publicity Studio’s Black and White File Prints [AAQT 6539] has been digitised, available as JPEG images on Archway.

Many entries in the negative registers and negative card indexes are stamped/annotated "withdrawn" (negative withdrawn from loan).

In many cases the original negatives and prints are held by the Alexander Turnbull Library (PO Box 12349, Wellington, phone: (04) 474-3000, fax: (04) 474-3035). Some prints corresponding to negatives in the collection are held in the Special Collections, Auckland City Library, PO Box 4138, Auckland, phone: (09) 377-0209, fax: (09) 307-7741).

Negatives and Prints

"1/1" Black and White Negatives and Prints [AAQT 6403]

The negatives and prints in this series, which appear to date from c1913 to the 1940s, were created to publicise New Zealand, both locally and overseas. Most of the images include scenery, places and Maori.


The negative numbers for the images in this series have no prefix. The series began as full plate glass negatives, then went to nitrate and some safety film negatives. These are stored separately for preservation reasons.


The black and white reference prints from this collection have been separated from the negatives, and are available in the Reading Room.

The prints are arranged numerically by negative number. Enclosed in mylar (polyester) with a backing card to give better protection, the reverse of each print has brief details: negative number, photographer, subject, and date.

Related series

It appears that Series 6403 was used as a source of images for, or at least shared images with, Series 8315 (NZ Government Publicity Glass Lantern Slides), and possibly also Series 6493 ('HC' Glass Lantern Slides). These two related series, comprising images designed to promote and market New Zealand, focus primarily on shots of scenery, places and Maori. Other sources for the series include individual photographers and firms such as Burton Brothers and Muir & Moody.

For further information on the origins of photographic images, see the series document for Series 8315.

Cross-checking of the glass lantern slide numbers and images [Series 8315] against numbers and descriptions in the negative registers and card indexes which control Series 6403 has been undertaken. This has shown that a considerable proportion of the slides match the numbers and descriptions of images from Series 6403.

It is likely that the publicity collections assembled for use in Australia [Series 8315] and New Zealand [Series 6493] drew on images included in Series 6403, or that the three series shared images used by the Tourist and Health Resorts Department from 1901 to the 1940s.

"A" Black and White Negatives and Prints [AAQT 6401]

The negatives and prints in this series were created to publicise New Zealand, both locally and overseas.
The negatives are numbered from A1 to A100,000, after which a new sequence was started in 1972:
"B" Black and White Negatives and Prints, 1972-1987 [AAQT 6421]

"B" Black and White Negatives and Prints [AAQT 6421]

In this series, which started in 1972, the glassine bags have the negative number written on them.

A few empty bags have "Transferred to R series" and the "R" negative number on them. These are 6 x 6cm negatives now in the "R" negative drawers [AAQT 6418]. For negatives that have been transferred into mylar sleeves, information from the glassine bags has been noted down onto a description sheet.

From about negative number B2900, the year is also shown, eg: B9238/76, up to 23423/87, the last negative in the series.
The images were created to publicise New Zealand, both locally and overseas

Other Negative Series

"0" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6468]
"ASPAC" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6536]
"CD" Colour Transparencies [AAQT 6465]
"CG" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6469]
"CN" Colour Negatives [AAQT 6420]
"Cook" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6464]
"CR" and "CN" File Prints [AAQT 6541]
"CR" Colour Negatives [AAQT 6419]
"ER" Colour Negatives [AAQT 6473]
"EX" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6467]
"H" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6423]
"HC" Lantern Slides [AAQT 6493]
"MB" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6422]
"P" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6476]
"PA" Black and White & Colour Negatives [AAQT 6472]
"PATA" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6463]
"QM" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6474]
"R" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6418]
"RA" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6533]
"RV" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6475]
"S" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6535]
"TC" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6425]
"TCC" Black and White Negatives [AAQT 6462]
"TD" Colour Transparencies [AAQT 6466]
"WA" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6404]
"X" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6424]
"XA" Colour Transparencies [AAQT 6470]
"XD" Colour Transparencies [AAQT 6471]
"Z" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQT 6402]
Black and White File Prints [AAQT 6539]
Royal Visit 1953 Black and White Prints [AAQT 6538]
DAC Communicate NZ - photographic negatives, prints and transparencies [ABIS 6534]
"R" series negatives and prints; ''PA'' series negatives and prints; miscellaneous negatives and prints ("CD'', "TD" series and unidentified) [ABIS W4025]

Negative registers

Volumes include the following:
negative number, title of photograph, photographer, date taken, date accessioned.

"1/1" Negative Register [AAQT 6437]
"A" Negative Register [AAQT 6439]
"B" Negative Register [AAQT 6440]
"Auckland" Negative Register [AAQT 6454]
"AV/3D" Register [AAQT 6453]
"C" Transparency Register [AAQT 6441]
"CD" Transparency Register [AAQT 6448]
"CN" Negative Register [AAQT 6443]
"CR" Negative Register [AAQT 6444]
"Image Resource" Negative Register [AAQT 6461]
"MB" Negative Register [AAQT 6442]
"MD" Transparency Register [AAQT 6451]
"PA" Negative Register [AAQT 6460]
"PD" Negative Register [AAQT 6452]
"R" Negative Register [AAQT 6447]
"TD" Transparency Register [AAQT 6446]
"XA" Transparency Register [AAQT 6445]
"XD" Transparency Register [AAQT 6449]
"Z" Negative Register [AAQT 6455]

Card Indexes

The index cards have the negative number or numbers on the top left corner. Also entered is the title of the photograph (a few have more detailed descriptions).

Later cards have the name of the photographer and the date taken.

Many cards have ‘WITHDRAWN’ either stamped or hand-written on them. This means the negative was withdrawn from use. The cards are generally divided every 100 negative numbers.

Card Index "1/1" [AAQT 6435]
Card Index "B" [AAQT 6427]
Card Index "A" [AAQT 6426]
Card Index "A", "B", and "1/1" [AAQT 6428]
Alphabetical Card Index "AV/3D" [AAQT 6430]
Card Index "920 - Portraits" [AAQT 6436]
Card Index "AV/3D" [AAQT 6431]
Card Index "C" [AAQT 6458]
Card Index "CD" [AAQT 6433]
Card Index "CR" & "CN" [AAQT 6429]
Card Index "H" [AAQT 6457]
Card Index "L" [AAQT 6459]
Card Index "MB" [AAQT 6484]
Card Index "TD" [AAQT 6434]
Card Index "U" [AAQT 6456]
Card Index "WA" [AAQT 6432]
Card Index "X" [AAQT 6483]

Photograph albums and miscellaneous

1963 Royal Visit Book [AAQT 6738]
Photograph Album [AAQT 7976]
Photograph Albums [AAQT 6540]
L Negative and Print Books [AAQT 6490]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

National Film Unit

Film Stills [AAPG W3939]
Posters & photographs [AAPG W3942 boxes 7 and 8]
Films and Colour Slide Sets [AAPG W3334]
Lantern slides - publicity shots for tourism, probably from the National Publicity Studios image collection. [AAPG W3878]

For information on the National Film Unit see the Archives New Zealand audio visual website,

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

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The photographs of New Zealand Railways came primarily from its Publicity and Advertising branch.

Accessing the Collection

Researchers can browse the drawers of reference prints in the Wellington Register Room using the subject headings on the drawer labels and interior drawer divisions as a guide to relevant image groups.

Researchers can also use the subject card index (two drawers) on top of the reference print cabinets. The left drawer includes both general (eg. regional stations) and technical images (eg. different locomotive types) and gives specific negative references. The right drawer includes similar headings but is more directly related to the print collection, which is arranged by subject rather than negative number. The index cards have reference print drawer numbers noted on them.

Negatives and Prints

The black and white reference prints (Wellington Register Room) range from passenger trains and views of carriage interiors to publicity shots, regional railway stations, railway staff, engine workshops and different locomotive models. Two collections of Second World War photographs are also housed in the cabinets in drawer 73. The photographs range in date from the late 1880s to the 1970s. Information relating to each image (date, subject, photographer, negative number) is on the back of the prints. This accession contains registers, prints and negatives. [AAVK W3493]

Other Negatives and Prints

NZ Railways Publicity Photographs and Artwork (primarily artworks; some photographs) [ABIN W3806]
"B" sequence negatives [AAVK 6390]
"C" sequence negatives [AAVK 6388]
"D" sequence negatives and positives [AAVK 6392]
"E" sequence negatives [AAVK 6389]
"F" sequence negatives [AAVK 6391]
[White label] negatives [AAVK 6407]
AG scenic negatives [AAVK 6413]
Broken "C" sequence negatives [AAVK 6406]
Broken negatives [AAVK 6409]
Miscellaneous negatives [AAVK 6411]
Single number negatives [AAVK 6408]
Unnumbered negatives [AAVK 6412]
NZ Government Railways Department, General Manager's Office - Photographs [AAEB W3875]
Photographic Report of Visit to New South Wales Railways [AAEB W3015]
Mixture of single number and unnumbered glass negatives, non-railway (scenic) subjects. [AAVK 6410]
Railways Corporation Library - Assorted Records [ABIN W3337]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

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The main collection of Forestry Black and White Reference Prints [AAQA 6506] is held in the stack area. However, photographs can be requested by researchers and viewed in the Reading Room.

Reference print images range from exotic and indigenous species of trees and other flora to forest industry and forestry methods (e.g. logging, deer farms, animal control, nurseries, silviculture, afforestation).

Subjects also include publicity shots, housing and offices, state forest parks and scenic reserves, Rangers and Junior Woodsman Training Schools, forestry workers and trainees (at work and leisure), conferences, ministerial visits and portraits of Forest Service directors and senior officers.

The photographs date from about 1922 to 1987. Information for each image (date, subject, photographer, negative number) is on the back of the prints.

Accessing the Collection

Archway Listings
Black and White Reference Prints [AAQA 6506] are listed to box and subject level in the Archives New Zealand online finding aid Archway.

Black and White, Colour, Slide Subject Index [AAQA 6507]
The Subject index to the Black and White Reference Prints [AAQA 6506] is held in the Wellington Register Room. Cards are alphabetical by subject and give subject classifications (often typed in red) which can be used to determine which box of photographs to request. Some also include specific negative references.

Portraits and Groups Index [AAQA 6511]
This indexes many of the staff photographs included in the Black and White Reference Prints [AAQA 6506]. Arranged alphabetically by person or group, the cards have both subject classifications (in red) and specific negative numbers. Photographs relevant to staff can also be traced through Archway.

Other Indexes
"COL" Colour Negative Caption Index [AAQA 6502]
COL Catalogue (Archives) Index [AAQA 6509]

Black and White Contact Print Registers [AAQA 6504]
Colour Slide Caption Registers [AAQA 6514]
Negative Registers [AAQA 6505]
Photo Library Classification List for Master Copies [AAQA 6528]

Negative and Prints
Black and White Reference Prints [AAQA 6506]
"AH" Black and White Negatives [AAQA 6498]
A Hansson Personal Black and White Negatives [AAQA 6519]
COL Catalogue [Colour Reference Prints] [AAQA 6508]
"COL" Colour Negatives and Prints [AAQA 6500]
Colour Transparencies Removed 1987 [AAQA 6513]
Duplicate "Historical" slides [AAQA 6706]
"F" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQA 6398]
"FRI" Black and White Negatives [AAQA 6499]
"H" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQA 6393]
"L" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQA 6394]
"M" Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQA 6395]
Master Slides [AAQA 6503]
Mines Division Black and White Prints [AAQA 6518]
Miss Sutherland - Black and White Prints & Negatives [AAQA 6522]
No Prefix Black and White Negatives & Prints [AAQA 6400]
"NORTHWOOD" Black and White Copy Negatives & Prints [AAQA 6496]
NPS "A" and "B" Spare Black and White Prints [AAQA 6559]
NPS "A" Black and White Negatives [AAQA 6396]
NPS No Prefix Black & White Negatives [AAQA 6397]
NZR Photo Library Black and White Prints [AAQA 6523]
Packets of Black and White Prints [AAQA 6560]
Packets of Colour Prints [AAQA 6516]
Prints from Negatives Deleted 1986 [AAQA 6531]
Radiata Display, Tokyo 1979, Colour Prints [AAQA 6521]
Silver Nitrate Black and White Prints [AAQA 6520]
"SIMPSON" Black and White Copy Negatives & Prints [AAQA 6495]
Spare Prints [AAQA 6501]
"TU" Black and White Copy Negatives [AAQA 6497]
Unknown Series Black and White Negatives [AAQA 6399]
"WA" Black and White Prints [AAQA 6517]

Photograph Albums
'Tauhorakuri Burn-Out Forests' Black and White Prints Albums [AAQA 6526]
Photograph Album [AAQA 6527]
'Early New Zealand Fotos' Photograph Album [AAQA 6525]
'Large Size Fotos' Photograph Album [AAQA 6524]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

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Multiple Number Subject Classification Prints make up the main group of agriculture photographs [AANR 6329]. This collection is formed from a number of different negative series including:
“A" negatives [6328]
"K" negatives [6327]
"G" Negatives [6340]
"MIN" negatives [6307]
"S" negatives [6338]
black and white negatives [6306]
Mr Neale's negatives [6318]
plus negatives from various outside organisations such as the National Publicity Studios and Ministry of Works.

All prints have multiple number subject classifications. The first number is the main topic, the second number the sub-topic, and the third number the specific print, eg: 1/4/26, where 1 means Apiary, 4 Bee Anatomy, and 26 that this is the 26th photo on Bee Anatomy.

In about 1963 all prints were top-numbered into the "DA" black and white print system [6330]. DA numbers were assigned to groups of multiple subject numbers, eg: 58/1/- became DA 22,106 onwards. Once the DA numbers had been given, index cards were made up [6300]. In the late 1960s the prints were reconverted to their original multiple number subject classifications. Most prints also have a Dewey number in an attempt at re-classification, but this proved impracticable.

A date stamp on the bottom of a print mount indicates that the photo was published, probably in the Department of Agriculture Journal or Bulletin (BUL).

Prints which do not have a Department of Agriculture negative number (eg: K6302) have the name of the photographer or firm which created the image, eg: Sparrow Industrial Pictures or Miramar Studios (a division of the National Publicity Studios). Care should be taken as different government agencies often had similarly numbered negative series

This series [AANR 6329] was originally available in metal cabinets in the Reading Room. The photographs suffered damage and became disordered, so the series was removed from the Reading Room and reboxed in August 1998. The disorder of the sequence has been retained pending further listing work, and photographs are listed at subject division level in Archway.

Many subject sections were missing when the series was reboxed and relisted. These classifications have been recorded as missing on the list, although it is also possible that they did not exist when the images were transferred to the then National Archives. The largest 'gap' is in the 57/- sequence of photographs of women. It seems likely this sequence was integrated into another series before transfer.

Many of the Negatives, and their indexes and registers are not listed on Archway.

"Photos (Index) from S & W Instructors" [AANR 6311]
Historical Photo Archive Catalogue (Index to Subject Classification of Prints) [AANR 6303]
Index to "CURRENT" Photographic Portraits [AANR 6342]
Card Index "DA" System [AANR 6300]

"DA" Accession Registers [AANR 6301]
"MIN" Negative Register [AANR 6308]
Colour Positives Register [AANR 6326]
Negative Accession Register "K" & "A" [AANR 6312]
Negative Changeover Register "K" and "A" [AANR 6309]

Negatives and Prints
Multiple Number Subject Classification Prints [AANR 6329]
Photographs [ABLY W4191]
"A" Black and White Negatives [AANR 6328]
"DA" Black and White Negatives [AANR 6305]
"DA" Black and White Prints [AANR 6330]
"G" Black and White Negatives [AANR 6340]
"K" Black and White Negatives [AANR 6327]
"MIN" Black and White Negatives [AANR 6307]
"Overseas" Black and White Photographs [AANR 6336]
"Pest" Negatives and Transparencies [AANR 6324]
"S" Black and White Negatives [AANR 6338]
"S" Black and White Photographs [AANR 6334]
"Saxby" Black and White Prints [AANR 6335]
Black and White and Colour Photographic Portraits "Archive" [AANR 6314]
Black and White and Colour Photographic Portraits "Current" [AANR 6313]
Envelopes of Photographs [AANR 6321]
Glass Plate Negatives "Poultry" [AANR 6315]
Glass Plate Negatives of Agricultural Shows [AANR 6323]
Medialink Black and White Photographs [AANR 6337]
Mixed Format Images by Subject [AANR 6325]
Black and White Negatives [AANR 6306]
Colour Slides [AANR 6320]
Mr Neale's Negatives [AANR 6318]
Photo Record Cards [AANR 6302]
Unsorted Photographs [AANR 6343]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

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First World War Photographs
Archives New Zealand holds several First World War photograph collections:
? Gallipoli Campaign, by Sergeant Jack Hilliard (Permission needed for copies) [WA 254]
? Various photographs of: NZEF Embarkation, wounded (graphic images) and women’s war effort in Britain. [WA 10 6/23]
? Medal Winners, from Dominion Museum exhibition after the war [AALZ 902]
Index to names and list of photographs held in Wellington Reading Room.
? Ist NZ Expeditionary Force in France 1917-1918 by official photographer (H11-H634 with gaps [AALZ 901]
Most photographs are general or group shots. A numerical list by print number includes brief descriptions of subject matter. (Many of these photographs are also in the F D Thomson papers.)
? Soldiers overseas (H279-H876 with gaps – two bundles, some duplicates of above) [ACGO 8398 12 & 13]

Second World War Photographs
Archives New Zealand in Wellington holds two major series of Second World War (Pacific) photographs and a number of smaller series.
? Official photographs taken by RNZAF photographers in the Pacific and at home [ADQA 17263 especially 64/1-41]
? Semi-official and private photographs, mostly army (2 NZEF) but also some navy (RNZN) – Pacific only [ADQZ 18905]
Other groups of photographic images from the Second World War include:
? Maori in the armed forces (includes Maori Battalion, Vietnam & Singapore) [AAMK W3495 Box 23 f-q]
? Women at War [AAUR W3263 Box 1]
? Photographs in Public Works Department Official War History Index (also in Appendix L, AD series list binder) [ADQZ 18912/72a]
? Photographs [ADQZ 18912/72a, 73a, 75a, 77a]

Photographs can also be found through the Second World War subject card index in Wellington.

Other institutions, such as the Alexander Turnbull Library and service museums, hold significant
collections of Second World War photographs.

Royal New Zealand Air Force Photographs
Albums 1-47 [ADQA 17263/64]
Index to Albums 1-47 [ADQA 17263/75e drawers 1-8]
Other photographs, in envelopes, boxes, albums [ADQA 17263/65-75]

General Defence and War Photographs
Ministry of Defence HQ New Zealand Force South East Asia, Registered Files [AAQG W3789 box 99]
Photograph albums of Military Advisers Conferences, and one album from the Rosyth Shipbreaking Co [ABFK W3947]
Exhibition Pictorial Material - Great War Cenotaphs and Memorials [AALZ 904]
Photographs and plans of defence sites [ABFK W4395]
Fortifications & works, plans and maps [record group] [AAYS 8684]
New Zealand Patriotic Fund Board: Photographs of convalescence homes, homes for war veterans and photograph albums [AAOY W3120 Box 2]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

See also War Research Guide.

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The most complete set of aerial photographs in the public sector came from LINZ (Land and Information New Zealand). The work (most contracted to New Zealand Aerial Mapping) was done c1936 – 2005.

Aerial photographs are used to document landscape and land use changes, to create maps, and to provide aerial views of specific locations at specific times.

The aerial photographs [18861] are accessed through the Card index to aerial photographs [ABWN 18929] although some are listed by name/area in Archway.

Most Crown-owned aerial photograph negatives are held by New Zealand Aerial Mapping Limited (NZAM), and are known as the Crown Aerial Negative Archive. However, a small number of aerial negatives were transferred to Archives New Zealand as part of the main sequence of photographic prints [AARP 7938]. Most of these negatives were commissioned by contractors other than NZAM.

Other Aerial Photographs
Miscellaneous Civil Aviation Historical Records, listed to Town Level on Archway [AARP 7938]
Ministry of Works, listed to town level on Archway [ACHL19284]
Antarctic aerial photographs [ABWN 18932]
Aerial photographs of aerodromes, road deviations, proposed works; photographs of bridges; maps of Works districts [AADX W3810]
Aerial Photographs of Proposed Wellington Motorway Path [AAFH 6365]
State Highway Aerial Photographs [AAZZ 7724]
Lands & Survey New Plymouth District Office [ABAJ W4065/61-62]


The largest collection of Land photographs was created by the Department of Lands & Survey.

This index controls a number of series: Lands & Survey Prints and Transparencies, Lands & Survey Black and White negatives, Lands & Survey Colour negatives, Lands & Survey Miscellaneous negatives. It is not known how comprehensive the index is or whether it covers the whole of the collections below. [AANS 8136]

Lands & Survey Black and White Register [1-9065] [AANS 8133]
These registers record the negative number, date, photographer, place taken and a caption.

Lands & Survey Black and White Negatives [1-9065] [AANS 8132]
Lands & Survey Colour Negatives [AANS 8135]
Lands & Survey Miscellaneous Negatives [AANS 8138]
Lands & Survey Prints and Transparencies [AANS 8128]

Other Land related photographs
Photographs of the construction of the Waikaremoana Power Scheme [ADLI 21656]
Historical photographs. The collection includes events, significant personalities, developments in technology and land use, as documented by the former Lands & Survey Department over many years. [ABWN 23196]
Land Settlement Programme Photographs, listed by town in Archway [ABJFW4067]
Bolton Street Cemetery [PAAM W4152]
Lands & Survey Photographs, Plans and Papers - Te Anau Basin [ABJF W5037]
Town and Country Planning files, photographs, plans [AATE W4920]
Lantern Slides of New Zealand created by the New Zealand High Commission, Ottawa [AANM W3168]
Sequentially Numbered Photographs from the Department of Survey and Land Information, of New Zealand locations [AAFV 6868]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Whites Aviation
The Aerial Photographs created by Whites Aviation are held by Alexander Turnbull Library.

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Property Photographs and Educational Items [AAAD W3234]
Photographs collected by the Physical Education and School Publications Branches, and for the centenary of the Department of Education in 1978 [ACIG 18014]
Publication Photographs [AAAD 6011]
University Grants Committee [AAMJ W3601/229-235]
National Council of Adult Education [ABUE W4651/22]
Educational filmstrips (some with teacher notes). Films cover topics such as the Treaty of Waitangi, farming, goldmining and industry in New Zealand, Antarctica, life in Fiji, Maori culture, etc. [AAOJ W4898]
Flock House archives collection [ACJU 18130/1-14, 18-26, 30-31, 38-43, 46]

Education Boards
Taranaki Education Board [ABDU W3570 subseries 13]
Wellington Education Board and Wellington District School Photographs [ABDM W3569 Boxes 387, 388, 492, 519-523 and 969-974]
Hawkes Bay Education Board [ABDJ W3568 Boxes 193-195, 216, 225, 227]
Wanganui Education Board [ABDV W3571 Boxes 1087-1124]
Nelson Education Board [ABDW W3572/11, 146, 148-150, 512, 519-529]

Te Aro School
Assorted Photographs [ABHO W4839]
Assorted records from Te Aro school, including photographs. [ABHO W3771 Boxes 7-13]
Class Photograph 1926 [ABHO W4834]

Clyde Quay School
Photographs [AAFC 691]

Wellington Girls College
Mounted Photographs [AANB 885]
School Photograph Albums [AANB 874]

Berhampore School
Photographic Material [ABUQ 7172]

School Journal
Publication folders [AAAD 699]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

For further information regarding education records see Education Research Guide.

Alexander Turnbull Library School Records
Brooklyn 1902-1961 (including Mornington records)
Kilbirnie 1884-1983
Makara 1885-1972
Mt Cook Infants 1882-1935
Mt Cook Boys 1881-1925
Mt Cooks Girls 1882-1925
Mt Cook Main 1926-1978
Vogeltown 1883-1902

Early records for Mt Cook School 1875-1880 are in the Beaglehole Room, Victoria University, Wellington.

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Wildlife Service

Index & Register
Transparencies Card Index [AANS 8134]
Black and White Photographic Prints and Negatives Register [WL1-4658] [AANS 8127]

Transparencies, Colour Negative and Glass Lantern Slides [WL1-806] [AANS 8130]
Black and White Photographic Prints and Negatives [WL1-2521] [AAND 8125]
Black and White Photographic Prints and Negatives [WL1-4658] [AAND 8126]
Transparencies, Colour Negative and Glass Lantern Slides [WL1-806] [AANS 8130]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Police and Prison

Historical photographs of prisoners and criminals are sporadic at best and it is almost impossible to tell when a criminal or police file will contain a photograph. The records below definitely contain photographic material.

New Zealand Fingerprint Photographs [AAXZ 7346]
Unregistered Photographs and Miscellaneous Items [Criminal Registration Branch] [AAXZ 6811]
Photographs of prisoners 1873-1906 [ACIS 17671]
Plate photographs of prisoners, unknown dates [ACIS 17670]

Police Gazettes
Police Gazettes contain photographs of criminals from the early 20th Century onwards [ACIS 17653]
There are also specific Police Photographic collections and supplements.
Police Gazettes, Photographs [AAAJ W4928/26-65]
Police station records from Hawera, Opunake, Patea and Normanby, Police Gazette Photographs [AAXZ W4888/2-5]
Please also see the NZ Police Gazette Information Sheet.

Police Gazettes, Wanganui Records [AAAJ W3100/3-4]

Hawkes Bay Police
Photographic Indexes [AANO 7960]
Indexes to negatives and photographs [AANO W4045]
Photographic Records [AAQS 6106]
Job book and Negatives [AANO W3841]
Job Record Book and Negatives [AANO W4555]
Negatives and Job Record Books [AANO W3200]
Photographic Records and Negatives [AANO W3349]
Napier Prison Registers, New Zealand Police Photographs [AAZC W2542/120-139]

Negatives showing the interiors and exteriors of prisons, prison workshops and prison farms, 1960s to early 1970s [ABGU 6875]
Prisons topographical photographs and drawings [AAAR 7205]
Historical photograph of Dunedin Gaol 1874 [ACIS 17686]

Access: As well as negatives being restricted for Preservation reasons, all Police records are restricted for 100 years from date of closure, except for Police Gazettes which are restricted for 70 years from closure.


Aerodrome photographs [record group] [ACHL 19342]
Negatives of Scott Base and Glass Plate Negatives - Imperial Airways. Many of these records are missing [AAFE W4318]
Civil air accident photographs and transparencies [ABVK 7334]
Ministry of Transport - Civil Aviation Department - photographs of airports/runways etc. [AAZS W3822]
Civil Aviation Photographs [ABPT 6778]
National Airways Corporation [Air New Zealand] ephemera [AEPK 20231]
National Airways Corporation [Air New Zealand] staff photographs [AEPK 19953]
National Airways Corporation [Air New Zealand] time capsule [AEPK 20229]

Multiple number subject files, photographs from around New Zealand [AATE W4506 Box 18]
Wellington Motorway Construction [AAFE 783]
Road Safety Slides [ABPT 6758]
Numerical Road Safety Slides [ABPT 6754]
Photographs and negatives recording work of Paeroa Office of the Ministry of Works and Development. [AATE 10893]

Other Transport Related
Photographs and negatives of lighthouses and navigation aids [ABPL 8848]
Class Photos of Transport Officers from Trentham Training College [ABPT 6756]
Early photographs of Transport Department staff [ABPT 6768]
Marine Division Photographs [ABPT 6779]
Meterological Service Photographs [ABPT 6780]
Miscellaneous Photographs from the Transport Department [ABPT 6781]
Numbered Negatives primarily from Trentham Training Collage [ABPT 6776]
Photo Albums from the Transport Department [ABPT 6760]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Migration and Citizenship

Poll tax books
Chinese ‘poll tax’ books are books of butts from Certificates of Entry issued to Chinese entering New Zealand in Wellington. Thirty-five unindexed volumes cover May 1888 to December 1930 in chronological order of arrival. Later volumes contain photographs of the migrants [ACGV 8836]

Passport records/ photographs are not held. The only exceptions are sample passports belonging to historically and politically significant individuals such as Jean Batten [AAAC 6859 W4593 1], Sir Walter Nash [IA 69 2/8] and Sir Keith Holyoake [IA 69 2/9].

Immigration Files
Many of the Immigration Case files [ABKF 6794] contain photographs of the applicants. See the Migration Research Guide for further information.

Alien Personnel files (Second World War and after) may contain photographs. See Citizenship Research Guide for further information.

Access: Many Immigration Case files and Alien files are restricted. See the Archway listings for current restriction statements.

Immigrant Ships
Images of ships which came to New Zealand can often be found within the photographic collections of the National Library and Alexander Turnbull Library.


Archives New Zealand holds photographs of structures built by the Government only. Private building plans and photographs are held by the individual/company who constructed the building, and/or the local council.

New Zealand Housing Corporation
Wellington District Office: Plans of Whitby and Porirua Developments and Photographs of Porirua, Tawa and Elsdon. [AAQV W3361]
Housing in Porirua (a few photographs) [ABLI W4172]
Photographic Records and Assorted Non-Textual Materials. Various identified and unidentified slides, photographs, plans and sketches of state houses and housing developments, plus some photographs of staff and sports teams. [AALF 7484]
Index to State Housing Photographs [AALF 6113]
State Housing Photographs [AALF 6112]
Photographs of State Housing plans [AALF 6114]
Records of CHIP [Community Housing Improvement Programme] and NIA [Neighbourhood Improvement Areas] urban renewal schemes [AALFW 3344]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Commissions of Inquiry

Abbotsford Landslip Disaster [ADQU 19607/4]
Parnell Civil Defence Emergency [ADQU 19522/3]
Royal Commission on Containers [ADQU 19494/9-10]
Explosion and Fire at General Plastics (NZ) Ltd., Masterton [ADQU 19489/1]
Sale of liquor in New Zealand 1973-1974 [ADQU 19542/9-10]
Harbour pilotage [ADQU 19551 record 4h]
Distribution of motor vehicle parts [ADQU 19560/2]
Convictions of Arthur Allan Thomas for the murders of David Harvey Crewe and Jeanette Lenore Crewe [ADQU 19602/11-12 18, 21, 26]
Mount Erebus, Antarctica, crash of a DC-10 aircraft operated by Air New Zealand [ADQU 19628/8-13, 17, 23, 38]
Lyttelton-Woolston LPG [liquid petroleum gas] pipeline enquiry [ADQU 19662/7-10]
Disaster at Kaimai Tunnel [ADQU 9482/2]
Chiropractors [ADQU 19566/26]
Allegations of impropriety in respect of approval by the Marginal Lands Board of an application by James Maurice Fitzgerald and Audrey Fitzgerald [ADQU 19605/3]

Access: Some of the records of Commissions of Inquiry are restricted. See the Archway listing or contact Archives New Zealand for further information.

Health and Science

Dental (c.1950s – 1970s)
Assorted Photographs [ABKI 667]
Graduation photographs [Christchurch School for Dental Nurses] [ABKI 594]
Graduation photographs [Auckland School for Dental Nurses] [ABKI 593]
Graduation photographs [Wellington School for Dental Nurses] [ABKI 675]
Holly Lea Photographs [ABKI 596]
Lantern Slides [ABKI 671]
Overseas Dental Service Photographs [ABKI 673]
Photograph Albums [ABKI 672]
Photograph albums, Auckland [ABKI 6546]
Photograph Albums, Christchurch [ABKI 600]

Roy Towers Collection: some photographs of Wellington Hospital 1887-1981 [ABRR 7563/9-14]
Photographs of psychiatric hospitals and training institutions [ADBZ 16168]
Nursing Division - Mary Lambie Collection [ADBZ 16169/1]
Nursing Photographs c1920s-1970s [ADEU 16391]
Photographs, Objects and Film relating to The National Health Institute/ Communicable Diseases Centre [AADJ W2973]

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research [ABLS 6829]
Central Institute of Technology [ACFA 8122]
Cawthron Trust Board records and Cawthron Institute records, some photographs [AALT W3082]
Cawthron Institute, various records, including some photographs. [AALT W4459/20-21, 47]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Broadcasting, Communication and Tourism

Broadcasting Photographs [AAFH 7304]
Photographs of various subjects, including: personalities (listed alphabetically), Disasters, Industry, Railways, Ships, Sport, War, etc. created by Television New Zealand [ABHJ W3602]
Some are listed to subject level in Archway some simply to alphabetical range.

Telecom Museum Assorted Records [AAMF W3327]
Former Post and Telegraph/Telecom Museum Holdings [ACFB 8106]
Post Office photographs of early Wellington and early coaching days [record group] [ADAU 17205]

Photographs used for 75th Anniversary Exhibition of Tourism and Publicity Department [ABKB 7711/14]
Colour transparencies [ABKB 8032]
New Zealand scenery, tourist attractions, and visitors. Most images by staff photographers of the Tourist and Publicity Department and the NZ Tourism Board. Others purchased from commercial photographers or tourist operators for use in overseas promotions.
Index to colour transparencies [ABKB 8034]
A database of images created by the New Zealand Tourism Board in 1996. This contains low resolution copies of colour transparencies held by the Board [Series 8032], and searchable descriptions of each image. The database can be searched by region, subject keyword and number.
Registers of colour transparencies [ABKB 8033]
The registers record the title, date (often photographer and copyright status) of images from the New Zealand Tourism Board's Image Library.

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Foreign Affairs and Relations

Negatives from the 1954 Royal World Tour [ABKK W4440]
Photos of Visit of Inner Mongolian Delegation (China) 1976 [ABHS W4554]
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Photographs - Countries [AAEG 626]
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Photographs - General [AAEG 624]
Loose photographs and photographs in albums, of various locations, for example Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Zealand. [ABFX W3639]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Politicians and Public Servants

F.D. Thomson - Papers and Photographs [ABHT W3920]
David Lange Photograph albums [AAWW 7122]
David Lange Photographs, pictures, drawings and non-photographic material [AAWW 7123]
Works and Development Services Corporation - Commissioner of Work Photographs [AATE W4323]
Photographic Records from the Inter-Parliamentary Relations Office [ABGX 7574]
Dollimore historical collection of photographs of Tourism staff [ABKB 7709]
Norton Collection with photographs from the Department of Labour [AAAC 7952]
Transparencies from Parliamentary Library of Parliament [ABAQ 8025]
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Photographs – Politicians [AAEG 625]
Maori Affairs Staff Photograph 1933-34 [AAAA 7359]
Government Printing Office Staff Photographs [ACIX 8739]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

For more information on government employment records see Government Employment Research Guide.


Government Life Insurance Archives Collection [ABJX 20415]
State Fire Insurance Office photographs [AAXF W3623 Box 36-37, 48-69]
Miscellaneous Photographs [record group] [ACHU 19290]
Photographs [ACHU 19247]
Tu Tangata: Te Ao Hou records [AAMK W3495]
Permission to publish images from Tu Tangata: Te Ao Hou records must be obtained from Te Puni Kokiri.
Government Print Registered Files and Unregistered Files, including photographs, printing blocks. [AAUR W3549]
Ministry of Civil Defence Photograph Albums [ABUG 7881]
Whaeo canal enquiry photographs [AAQB W3330]
Proposal to Raise the Level of Lake Manapouri to generate electricity 1970 [ACGO 8443]

Archives New Zealand
Photographs - archives facilities and personnel (National Archives and elsewhere) – negatives [ARCH 459]
Photographs - archives facilities and personnel (National Archives and elsewhere) - positive prints [ARCH 458]
Photographs - National Archives documents and photographs - positive prints [ARCH 460]
Colour transparencies (slides) - archives facilities, personnel, documents [ARCH 461]

Women’s Suffrage Centennial
Women's Suffrage Centennial Year Project including introduction, photographs and acknowledgement [ABRG W4557]
[1993 Suffrage Centennial Year Trust] Photographs [ABKH 7366]

NZ 1990 Commission Christchurch Office files (some photographs) held in Wellington [CATT W3779]
Local Government Commission [AANX W3829/40-45, 70, 210-214]
NZ Abel Tasman 1992 Commission [ABNP W4247/5]
Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission [ABWN 7805/11-14]
Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission Records (Negatives) [ABWN 7859]

Access: Preservation restriction on many negatives.

Wairakei Geothermal Power Station Project (1956-1958)
Progress photographs [ADQX 17289]
Progress photographs [ADQX 17290]
Progress photographs [ADQX 17291]
Progress photographs [ADQX 17292]
International contractors [ADQX 17293]
Display photographs [ADQX 17294]

Download the PDF version here: Photographs - Wellington

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