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  • About Heritage

Our Heritage Collection, located on Level 3 of the Central Library (temporarily closed), aims to preserve Hamilton's rich cultural and historical legacy for future generations. In addition to books and magazines, the Heritage Collection includes the Waikato Times from 1872, unpublished letters and diaries of early Waikato settlers, historic photographs, old business advertising leaflets and other memorabilia and treasures from our Heritage Collection. There is also a large and growing collection of oral histories ranging from architecture to the experiences of new migrants and the development of Hamilton Gardens. Read a brief history of Hamilton or find out how Hamilton got its first bridge over the Waikato River. Did you know that Maaori used Garden Place Hill as an observatory or that there were ammunition factories in Hamilton during WWII?

If you're interested in exploring our history, the Hamilton Heritage Collections site will be of great interest. You can browse through the collections using keyword searches and refine your search by decade, subject, location and format. Feel free to add tags or comments and download any images you wish to keep.

The Heritage Collection also includes a large collection of books on NZ history, art and culture as well as government information such as statutes and parliamentary reports and Hamilton City Council Archives. Other resources include a comprehensive range of maps, particularly early Hamilton and early topographical, vehicle repair manuals and resources for family history research. 


  • Heritage Collections interactive website

  • Hamilton Heritage Collections is a new interactive website that shares some of the varied heritage materials held by Hamilton City Libraries.

    Please note: You can still use Kete Hamilton and Hamilton Heritage, but they are archived sites that we no longer update.

    Heritage Collections Cars

  • Historic Hamilton Walking Tours app

  • Explore Hamilton's seen and unseen history through the collections of Hamilton City Libraries. The app has two tours - one of Hamilton East and one of the south end of Hamilton from the Traffic Bridge up to Hood Street.

     Google play app store
     App Store

    These self-guided walking tours with optional audio commentary have been created to celebrate 150 years of the existence of Hamilton.

    Historic Hamilton Walking tour

     Hamilton Traffic Bridge  c. 1880-1890
     HCL image no. 01008

     The destruction caused by the Frankton Tornado, 1948.
     HCL image no. 329

    Hamilton Libraries