Contact details

The J.C. Beaglehole Room is the home of the Library's unique and heritage collections, preserved for current and future research.

The collections encompass, among other things, rare books, pamphlets, examples of fine printing, binding, and bibliographic ephemera, collections assembled for researching a particular topic, historic photographs and maps, and selected archives of literary figures, labour unions, academics and student bodies associated with the University. The J.C. Beaglehole room also maintains a ‘last-resort’ collection of publications by University students and staff.

The J.C. Beaglehole Room is open Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 4:30pm and is located on level four of the Kelburn Library, access via the south stairwell and lifts. The Special Collections Librarian is Sue Hirst.

Events and news about the J.C. Beaglehole room can be found on our blog.

Finding J.C. Beaglehole Room resources

Books, pamphlets, and other publications

Almost all published material in the J.C. Beaglehole Room collections is listed in the Library Catalogue.

A small number of publications (generally not related to New Zealand) have not yet been catalogued online and can be explored using the card catalogue in the reading room. The reading room also holds a card index to the early student journal ‘The Spike’.

Archives and Manuscripts

All archives and manuscripts in the J.C. Beaglehole Room’s collection are listed at The Community Archive/National Register of Archives and Manuscripts

For some of these, you can search detailed descriptions and digitised content through the J.C. Beaglehole Room's online finding aids. Additional detailed finding aids are available in paper form in the reading room.

Requesting J.C. Beaglehole Room resources

Most Beaglehole Room material is held in storage for preservation. To access it you should send your request at least a day in advance.

Request J.C. Beaglehole Room material

Where another copy of a published work exists in the Library system, please use that copy.

Using J.C. Beaglehole Room resources

Items must be used in the J.C. Beaglehole Room only. To protect the collection, food and drink are not permitted in the reading room, and only soft pencils are to be used for note-taking; ink pens may not be used.

Copying of material held in the J.C. Beaglehole Room is sometimes possible. The Special Collections Librarian will consider the physical condition of the material and any restrictions set out by the donor of the material. Library staff will usually copy the material for you; however, researchers may be permitted to take (non-flash) photographs in some cases. Please enquire with the Special Collections Librarian about any copying you wish to arrange.

‘3 Books, 3 Scholars’ Seminars

The ‘3 Books, 3 Scholars’ seminars are interdisciplinary sessions in which researchers discuss their use of particular resources from the Special Materials collections.

Seminars are held in the J.C. Beaglehole Reading Room usually from 12:10–1:00pm. Speakers and topics are advertised on the Victoria Events website, through Victoria News, and on our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to donate material to the J.C. Beaglehole Room. Whom should I approach?

If you are interested in donating papers, books, or a collection to the J.C. Beaglehole Room, please discuss it with the Special Collections Librarian. Many collections have resulted from the generosity and foresight of academics and alumni.