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The Bill Laxon Maritime Library contains one of the most comprehensive collections of New Zealand maritime history in its book and periodical collections. There are in addition hundreds of vessel plans, maritime charts relating to the New Zealand coast line and over 400,000 images of predominantly 20th century vessels.
The library also contains a collection of maritime archives the largest is the Auckland Harbour Board Archives which contains over one million items.
The library is a valuable resource for the Museum. It plays an important part in preserving our maritime heritage and is a remarkable summary of our nation’s published history.
The library is a key component when preparing items for exhibition, not only as a source of material for display, but also to ensure the historical accuracy of exhibitions’ composition and presentation.
The Library manages a number of databases which contain a diverse range of maritime history and information. All of these databases are available to view online.
The Library holds the following archives:
To ask our Librarian a question or request information, please complete an online enquiry and we’ll be in contact with you shortly. Research fees apply.
The Maritime Museum's library was named after Bill Laxon, a passionate user of the library who authored and co-authored books detailing the history of shipping companies and wrote many articles telling the stories behind individual ship names.
Bill was a founding member of the Auckland Maritime Society that developed the proposal for the current museum, and he was responsible for the establishment of the Auckland Maritime Society's library within the Bill Laxon Maritime Library collection.
The library is open to the public every Thursday from 10am - 4pm.