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Scottish Studies: Local Archives

Hocken Collections

Hocken Collections contain a wealth of documents relating to the Scottish settlement of New Zealand.

These include:

  • Burns clubs
  • Business archives
  • Clan societies
  • Family papers of Scottish settlers
  • Maps
  • Masonic lodges
  • Papers and manuscripts of New Zealand writers of Scottish extraction
  • Photographs and pictures of Scottish settlers
  • Pipe bands
  • Records of Caledonian Societies
  • Shipboard diaries

Address:  Corner of Anzac Ave & Parry Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Special Collections

The University of Otago Library Central Library Special Collections hold exceptional resources relating to Scottish Studies, including:

  • Scottish Print Culture (books printed and published in Scotland - mainly Edinburgh).
  • The James Hogg Collection includes original manuscript materials and a select number of works on authors such as James Beattie, Allan Ramsay, and Sir Walter Scott.
  • John McGlashan's library includes books of law, religion and philosophy as well as recreational titles.
  • Esmond de Beer's collection of travel, philosophy, and politics titles, including works by Scottish Enlightenment writers David Hume and Adam Smith.

Address: 1st Floor, Central Library, 65 Albany Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Otago Settlers Museum

Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin

The Otago Settlers Museum was founded in 1898 to mark the 50th anniversary of the planned Scottish settlement of Dunedin.

The Museum's archives include:

  • A database of early settlers in the provinces of Otago and Southland
  • An index of passenger lists
  • Church records
  • Military lists
  • New Zealand civil registrations and electoral rolls
  • Period newspapers
  • Photographs and letters from Scottish settlers
  • School records
  • Shipboard diaries
  • Shipping lists

Address: 31 Queens Garden, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Dunedin Public Libraries

Dunedin City Library Exterior

In addition to books on Scottish and Irish literature, history and genealogy available for borrowing, the Heritage Collections maintain collections pertaining to Scottish literature and language, including:

  • A collection of primers and dictionaries
  • Language resources
  • Letters & Manuscripts
  • Material on Scottish ancestry
  • Novels and poetry by Sir Walter Scott
  • Periodicals in the Scottish Gaelic language
  • The Robert Burns Collection
  • Song books
  • Scrapbooks
  • Works by Henry Johnston and some by J. M. Barrie, both members of the Kailyard School

Address: 3rd Floor, City Library, 230 Moray Place, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Archives NZ Dunedin Regional Office

Archives New Zealand, Dunedin Regional Office, has holdings of Government archives for Otago and Southland (south of the Waitaki River) from the 1840s onwards.

Archives with direct links to Scotland include:

  • Probate files for early settlers
  • Records of New Zealand Company land selections (dating from 1844)
  • Records documenting land administration and ownership
  • The Otago Provincial Government archives (dating from 1853 to 1877)
  • The Wardens' Courts archives document gold mining activities of early settlers (dating from 1861).

Address: 556 George Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Presbyterian Archives Research Centre

Among the holdings of the Presbyterian Archives Research Centre are:

  • Education records relating to the establishment of the first Free Church school in Otago (1848 onwards).
  • Microfilmed copies of correspondence with the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland Colonial Committees
  • Personal collections and photographs of Scottish ministers to New Zealand
  • Records of the purchase of land in Otago by Scottish settlers
  • Religious artefacts from Scotland
  • Shipboard diaries

Address: Hewitson Centennial wing at Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin, New Zealand.