How to use the library

If you are new to the library and would like help accessing our resources, please check out our library FAQs and guides. Or, if you would like one of our Research Librarians to assist with your research, you can find out more and lodge a research request through

If you would like any assistance using the library, you can librarians directly via phone, email or Teams.  Emailing us at is our main contact channel.

The Library collection is stored across three sites

The Library's humanities collection is distributed over various locations within the Cable Street building as described below.  The natural environment collections are primarily located in the Hector Room, and in smaller departmental libraries at Tory Street.  We also have a growing offsite storage section in Upper Hutt. 

Locations are specified in the library catalogue like below, and the Call no. is where on the shlef you wil find it. 

 Please email the with the details of any material borrowed from any Library space.

  • Humanities Library:  This library covers mainly art and visual culture, and history. The Humanities library is located behind Te Hau ki Turanga, level 4.  Staff access is via your security swipe. 
  • The New Zealand Photography books are shelved out of sequence at the end of the Outsize ‘L’ books in the Humanities Library.

  •  International Photography library: Located in Te Kore on level 3.  Please ask library staff for assistance in accessing.
  • Te Aka Matua Reading Room:  Located behind Signs of a Nation, up on the, level 4 mezzanine.  It contains our non-natural environment rare book collections, museology books and art and exhibition files.  This space has quiet study work areas for staff and will accommodate public research visits to our collections, strictly by appointment only. If you require access to the special collections stored there or if you wish to use the space for events or meetings. Staff access is via your security swipe anytime. 
  • Pacific Library, Pacific collection store: This library is located in the Pacific collection store and has restricted access, so after locating the book/books on the catalogue please send a request to and the book will be delivered to your desk.  Or if you wish to view the collection please contact the Collection Manager for Pacific, Grace Hutton to arrange a time. 
  • Māori library Tivaevae level 3.  This library is located in Tivaevae, level 3 and is accessible to all Te Papa staff. However, as it is used as a meeting room some protocols will need to be observed. If there is a meeting taking place, please avoid accessing the room and email a librarian to locate and issue the book/books or return when the meeting is over.  Please email to record any material borrowed from the library. 
  • The Hector Room, level 4 Tory Street: The Hector Room is ad-hoc staffed Thursday and Friday.  It contains some of the science collection, including the natural-environment Rare book collection.
  • Other Departmental libraries There are several departmental libraries in both buildings.  If you need to access something held in these areas, (eg. if the library catalogue gives you a location such as Botany etc.) please contact us for help.   
 Please email the with the barcode of the books ec.  you take from Library space. (tip: send us a picture of the barcode from inside the book with your phone)

Can’t find something else?  Please contact us at

Hosted by Prosentient