Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pacific Manuscripts Bureau

This resource is at the Auckland University Library and is a wonderful effort mainly from the Australian National Library but with input from a few New Zealanders. This organisation seeks to preserve historical Pacific content from degredation in tropical climates in the South Pacific and comes largely from private collections. Well done.

It can be a bit intimidating to visit a university library if you are not used to it, crowds of students and no parking places but it is worth the effort. To find the Special Collections Library, go in the main doors of the Library and head towards the stairs then veer left before stepping up.

The index of what is available is in blue folders if you haven't already identified which microfilms have your area of interest on them by accessing the online catalogue.

I did a search on Niue, there were 39 results.
Another search on New Bedford ( USA  + Pacific whaling ) brought back 25 results, most of which are very interesting.

I can see myself spending some time at the microfilm machine soon.


  1. Hi Lyn,, you have so many blogs that I don't know which one to reply on ;-) Thanks for visiting my blog and I was interested to learn that your father was with the Wellington Mounted Rifles. I know very little about them and my son has been asking me about my grandfather and the Mounted Rifles so he is hunting for books to learn more.

  2. PAMBU- The Pacific Manuscript Bureau is based in Canberra, Australia, as part of the Australian National University. It microfilms documents relating to the Pacific, of any kind.

    This ongoing process is financed by various institutions around the world, and these institutions receive copies of all the microfilms. The two major holders in NZ are the University of Auckland library and the National Library in Wellington. Other libraries may hold a small number of the microfilms.

    The New England Whaling project, which is part of PAMBU, comprises copies of the logbooks and other documents of whaling ships from the Eastern coast of North America, filmed at the the various whaling museums and archives in the region.

    Another section of PAMBU is OMPA- The Oceanic Marist Province Archives- which contains records from Marist Catholic missionaries and stations in the Pacific.

    The PAMBU website has an online index of all its microfilms, but they can also be found on Voyager at the University of Auckland, and the National Library Tapuhi catalogue.
    Christine Liava'a
    Pacific Islands Interest Group, NZSG

  3. Thanks Christine, you are a treasure of South Pacific History. I'm looking forward to more from you as Pacific History is new to me, if you have time that is.