Library Resources for Pacific History


General histories
Reference books
Atlases and maps
Theses and dissertations
Government publications
Manuscripts and archives

Just beginning your research? There are lots of useful tips in Research & Study Skills Online: Pacific Studies.

A History of the Pacific Islands, by I.C. CampbellGeneral histories




Reference books


Yearbooks provide basic statistical data, and also useful general information about government policy and activity.

  • Pacific Islands Yearbook, Sydney, Pacific Publications, 1932-1994.
    General Library New Zealand & Pacific 919.058 P11.
  • Statistical Abstract, Apia, Dept. of Statistics, 1966-1994.
    General Library Statistics Level M S2/WSM STAa
  • American Samoa Statistical Yearbook, Pago Pago, Department of Commerce, Statistics Division, 1997.
    General Library Statistics Level M S2/ASM STAd 
  • Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1973- .
    General Library Statistics Level M S1/UN-ESCAP STAy


Atlases and maps

  • The Map Room is on Level M in the General Library.
  • Small collections of Pacific-related atlases are held in the atlas collection (Level M of the General Library, immediately outside the Map Room door), and in the New Zealand & Pacific collection on the ground floor - see the Catalogue for details.
  • More Pacific maps.


Te Puna: National Union Catalogue

Te Puna links most public, university, government and other libraries in New Zealand to a central bibliographic database. It contains descriptions and locations of over 10 million books, journals and audiovisual items.

National bibliographies

A national bibliography lists all books and pamphlets published in a particular country, or containing significant reference to it, or written by authors of that country.

  • Fiji National Bibliography, Lautoka, Fiji, Library Service of Fiji, Ministry of Social Welfare, Dec. 1979-.
    General Library New Zealand & Pacific 015.9611 F47
  • Hawaiian National Bibliography, 1780-1900, Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press, 1998-.
    General Library New Zealand & Pacific 016.9969 F69
  • New Guinea Bibliography, Papua New Guinea, Library, University of Papua New Guinea, 1967-1980. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 015.923 N53
  • Papua New Guinea National Bibliography, Waigani, National Library Service of Papua New Guinea, 1981-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 015.923 N532. Library has Mar. 1981-1984; 1986-1987; 1989-1991; 1993-1995.
  • Samoa: A National Bibliography, Apia, Western Samoa, Book Exhibition Committee for the 7th Pacific Festival of Arts, 1996. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 016.99613 S19
  • Chris Todd, ed., Tokelau National Bibliography = Fakamaumauga o na tuhituhiga o Tokelau, Wellington, N.Z., Bibliographic Services, National Library of New Zealand, 2002. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 016.99615 T64 2002

Subject bibliographies

Some of the more general bibliographies are listed here.


The Journal of Pacific HistoryAs there is no index which covers the Pacific area comprehensively, you may find it useful to browse issues of individual journals. This is a list of the most significant journals and magazines for Pacific studies.


These are the most important Pacific newspapers currently received in the New Zealand and Pacific Collection. The latest issues are held at the Special Collections Reception, Level G.

Many of these titles are available online from the Pacific Islands Report website.

  • Papua-New Guinea Post-Courier, Port Moresby, D.W. Lockwood, 1969-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 079.923 P21. Library has 30 May, 1969-, incomplete.
  • Samoa Observer, Apia, Samoa Observer, 1983-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 079.9614 O11. Library has Vol. 5, no. 32 (25 May 1983)-Dec. 1999; Jan. 2000-present, incomplete. Current issues are online.
  • Taumu'a Lelei, Nuku’alofa, Tonga, 1982-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 079.9612 T22. Library has No. 1-6, 8-23 (1982); no. 36 (1985)-present, incomplete.
  • Kalonikali Tonga=Tonga Chronicle, Nuku’alofa, Tonga, Office of Premier, Govt. of Tonga, 1968-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 079.9612 T66. Library has Vol. 1 (1964)-v. 5, no. 18 (1968); Vol. 5, no. 19 (1968)-v. 36, no. 51 (Dec. 22, 1999), incomplete; Vol. 37, fika 1 (2000)-present.
  • *Cook Islands News. Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Cook Islands Broadcasting and Newspaper Corp., 1967-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 328.9623 C771s. Library has 27 May 1960-30 Dec. 1966; 1961/72; 6 Jun. 1961; Jan. 1967-present, incomplete.
  • *Fiji Times, Suva, Fiji, G.L. Griffiths, 1869-. Off Campus Storage 079.9611 F47t. Library has Sept. 4, 1969; Apr. 1973-June 1977 incomplete; 14, 30 Aug. 1979; 12 Sept 1979; Jan. 1,1990-Dec. 31, 1992; Jan. 2, 1995-Dec. 31, 1997. Selected issues from 2004-present online.
  • Samoana, Auckland, 1979-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 079.9614 S192. Library has 19 June-18 Dec. 1979; 29 Jan.-24 June 1980; 18 Sept. 1990-Dec. 1999; Jan. 2000-present, incomplete.
  • Savali, Apia, Western Samoa, Prime Minister’s Dept., Public Relations Division, 1966-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 996.14 S363. Library has Vol. 62, no. 24 (1966); v. 63, no. 1-5, 7, 10-11, 24 (1967); v . 66, no. 19 (1970)-1988, incomplete; 1989-2003; 2006-present.
  • *Solomon Star. Honiara, Solomon Islands, Solomon Star, 1983-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 079.935 S69. Library has No. 224 (1986)-July 1999; Dec. 2000-present.
  • Taimi o Tonga. Nuku'alofa, Tonga, Lali Communications, 1996-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 079.9612 T12. Library has Vol. 8, fika 45 (6 Nov. 1996)-Dec. 1999; Jan. 2000-present.

Pacific newspapers on microfilm

Newspapers marked with asterisk * above.


Periodical indexes

Most academic journals provide indexes to each volume, and a number have published cumulative indexes covering a range of volumes, eg, Journal of the Polynesian Society has published a cumulative index to volumes 1-100 (1892-1991). In addition to these, there are indexes which are published at regular intervals and provide subject indexes to large numbers of journals. For more recent material there are also databases.

  • Index to New Zealand Periodicals, Wellington, National Library, 1941-1986. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 052 I38.
    An annual publication which indexed most New Zealand journals, newspapers, and magazines.
  • INNZ : Index New Zealand, Wellington, National Library, 1987- .
    Continues Index to New Zealand Periodicals but also includes some newspaper articles, social sciences theses, reports and conference papers.
  • Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index, Honolulu, Hawaii, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Library.
    An index with abstracts from 50 Pacific journals and magazines.
  • South Pacific Periodicals Index, Suva, Pacific Information Centre in association with the University of the South Pacific Library, 1984-. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 016.99 B58
  • Bibliography of Periodical Articles Relating to the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, University of the South Pacific Library, 1974-1978. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 016.99 B58
  • Langdon, Robert, ed., The P.M.B. Book of Pacific Indexes, Canberra, Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, 1988. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 016.99 P111

Theses and current research

Theses and dissertations

Theses and Dissertations from The University of Auckland are listed in the Catalogue, as well as some theses from other universities. Most theses from other New Zealand libraries are catalogued on Te Puna National Union Catalogue, but you should also check individual library catalogues. Theses completed in other countries can be found in these databases:

  • Trove Resources in Australian websites and libraries.
  • Index to Theses Index to university theses in Britain and Ireland.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses University theses from many parts of the world, but mostly from USA and Canada. Incudes a comprehensive list from University of Hawai'i but nothing from University of the South Pacific.

Other sources of Pacific theses

Obtaining Theses from Other Libraries

To get theses from other New Zealand libraries use Interlibrary loans.

Current research


Check other Subject Guides as international indexes sometimes include Pacific material.

Government publications

Central government

In library catalogues government publications are normally listed under the name of the country, followed by the department or organisation.

For example, you could do a Subject Heading search for 'Fiji Department' or 'Fiji Ministry' and find publications of the Fijian government. You can also do an Author search for the country, eg, Fiji

  • Fiji Department of Agriculture, Annual Report for the Year ..., Suva, Fiji, Govt. Printer. General Library Microfilm Serials. Library has 1905-1930; 1939-1945.
  • Samoa Department of Lands, Surveys and Environment, Annual Report, Apia, The Department. General Library Special Collections NZ Glass Case 328.9614 W527Ls. Library has 1996/97; 1998/1999-2001/2002.
  • Tonga Department of Justice, Report of the Department of Justice for the Year ..., Nukualofa, Govt. Printer. General Library Special Collections NZ Glass Case 328.9612 T665j. Library has 1947; 1949-1967; 1969-1979; 1982; 1987; 1988.


The Gazette is the official newspaper of the Government and reports a wide variety of detail about its day to day business including proclamations, Orders in Council, a summary of parliamentary proceedings, government notices, some official appointments, notices regarding public lands and, periodically, lists of members of some professional groups such as teachers and medical practitioners.

  • The Fiji Gazette, Suva, Fiji, Central Archives of Fiji and the Western Pacific High Commission. General Library Microfilm Serials. Library has Vol. 1, No. 1 (Oct. 12, 1872) - Vol. 2, no. 97 (Apr. 1, 1874).
  • Fiji Islands Government Gazette, Suva, Fiji, Government Printer, 1998-2000. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 354.9611 F47r. Library has Vol. 12, no. 72 (13th Nov. 1998)-v. 1, no. 1 (Monday, 29th May 2000).
  • Fiji Republic Gazette, Suva, Fiji, Govt. Printer, 1987-1998. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 354.9611 F47r. Library has Vol. 1, no. 1 (5th Dec. 1987)-v. 12, no. 71 (1998).
  • Tonga Government Gazette, Canberra, A. C. T., Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, Australian National University. General Library Microfilm Serials. Library has 1911-1921.
  • Western Pacific High Commission Gazette, Suva, Fiji, Govt. Printer. General Library New Zealand & Pacific 354.935 W52. Library has 1957-1960; 1965; 1966.

Statutes and regulations

  • PacLII Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute index and databases. Legislations, Statutes and Court cases and decisions are searchable by country and subject.

Manuscripts and Archives

The University of Auckland

NZ & Pacific Digital Collections Includes the Anthropology Photographic Archive; Cuthbert Collection (Fanning & Norfolk Island); Journal of the Polynesian Society; and the Archive of Maori and Pacific Music (with sound, visuals, and text from the South Pacific Arts Festival 1976 and the New Zealand Polynesian Festival 1981).

Special Collections

The University of Auckland Library holds a large amount of original material, with particular strengths in the areas of trade unions and University organisations. There are also microfilms and photocopies of many other important manuscripts and archives. All archives and manuscripts, whether originals or copies, are listed in the database Manuscripts and Archives Catalogue Special Collections/Kohikohinga Motuhake (General Library).

Western Pacific Archives

The Western Pacific Archives comprise most of the documents generated and gathered by the Western Pacific High Commission from 1877 to 1978, recording the history of Britain’s involvement in the south-west Pacific. See this article for more information on the Western Pacific Archives.

There are finding aids to the Western Pacific Archives and you can also look in the Manuscripts and Archives Catalogue database.

To access the archives, please arrange an appointment with the Special Collections Librarian in advance. All readers must register on their first visit. Because of the uniqueness and rarity of these materials, they must be used only in the Special Collections Reading Room. To help preserve materials, copying is carried out by Library staff. See also the Special Collections section of the library website.

Microfilm Collection

This guide is held in the microtext room and provides references to published and unpublished guides and inventories which exist for some of the larger collections.

Two large microfilming projects have undertaken to cover manuscripts and archives around the world relating to Australasia and the Pacific. The following items list the material covered.

Australian Joint Copying Project

Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. National Library of Australia and the State Library of New South Wales, 2nd ed. Canberra, The Libraries, 1984-.
10 volume guide to microfilms of archives and manuscripts relating to Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, most of South East Asia, and Antarctica. Those microfilms not held by the library may be obtained on Interlibrary loan from the Alexander Turnbull Library. Good coverage of early British official sources.

Pacific Manuscripts Bureau

Search for "Pacific Manuscripts Bureau" in the Catalogue for a list of the microfilms. The PMB focus on Pacific material includes New Zealand in areas such as the records of early whaling vessels. The University of Auckland Library has been a member of the PMB consortium since 1995 and has received copies of all microfilms published since then. The website includes a catalogue of all PMB items. You can get microfilms not held by the library using Interlibrary loan.

The Archive of Maori and Pacific Music is the world's largest ethnographic sound collection relating to the Pacific. It includes material from most Pacific Islands areas, and has both commercial and field recordings of vocal and instrumental music, folk tales, oral history and interviews.


National Archives

Archives New Zealand

Information about the National Archives of the Cook Islands

Hawaii State Archives

Some national archives in the Pacific have no significant web presence at the moment. However, you can get location and contact details for the national archives of Western Samoa, Niue, Fiji and other Pacific nations by searching the International Council on Archives website.


Statistics relating to New Zealand and the Pacific are located in the Statistics Collection on Level M.

Statistics are arranged by subject/keyword rather than standard call numbers.
S1 non governmental, followed by the organisation abbreviation (EU, FAO, ILO, IMF, OECD, UN, WB)
S2 National statistics, followed by the country abbreviation, followed by a code based on a subject keyword.

S2/ASM American Samoa S2/NRU Nauru
S2/COK Cook Islands S2/PCI Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Micronesia
S2/FJI Fiji S2/PNG Papua New Guinea
S2/FPY French Polynesia S2/SLM Solomon Islands
S2/FSM Federated States of Micronesia S2/TON Tonga
S2/GUM Guam S2/TUV Tuvalu
S2/KIR Kiribati, Gilbert and Ellis Islands S2/VUT Vanuatu
S2/NCL New Caledonia S2/WLF Wallis and Futuna
S2/NIU Niue S2/WSM Samoa, Western Samoa

The guide to Finding Statistical Information about New Zealand includes information about Pacific people in New Zealand.

Statistical Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 1977-2003
S1/UN-ESCAP STAi (Statistics Collection Level M)
Online issues available from 2004.

OFFSTATS is a database of official sources of statistics from all parts of the world.

Pacific Island Countries thematic maps from the Secretariat of the Pacific CommunityPRISM Pacific Regional Information System maintained by the South Pacific Secretariat, Noumea, New Caledonia provides country statistics from the Pacific islands.

Copyright©The University of Auckland Library
Comments and suggestions to: Judy McFall and Philip Abela
Last updated: 8 May, 2013