New Zealand and Pacific Collection Management Plan

The New Zealand and Pacific Collection is an interdisciplinary open-access collection of published material on New Zealand and the Pacific region, including books, pamphlets, serials, official government papers, and statistics. It includes works whose content relates either wholly or substantially to the region and works of literature written by New Zealand or Pacific authors. 'The Pacific' is defined as the cultural areas of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia, but excludes Australia, Asia and the other Pacific Rim countries.

While the origins of the Collection as a physically separate entity within the Library are unclear, a distinct section of New Zealand material has existed since at least the 1950s, and the library has always acquired New Zealand monographs and official publications comprehensively. The expansion of the Collection was assisted by substantial donations such as those of Mr Wilfred (Bill) McAra, Sir George Fowlds and Dr Allen North, while during the 1960s the scope of the Collection was extended to include Pacific material. Selection of material is primarily the responsibility of the Special Collections Manager for New Zealand materials, while Pacific materials are acquired in collaboration with the Pasifika Liaison Librarian. Recommendations from academic staff are also received.

The Collection focuses on anthropology, development studies, education, English, history, political studies, and sociology, the subject areas for which there is most demand. Duplication in specialist libraries due to heavy demand by their user groups is at the discretion of relevant Library staff.

This is a comprehensive research collection on New Zealand and the Pacific, and differs from the rest of the General Library in several important aspects: it is interdisciplinary as opposed to reflecting the interests of a single department or faculty, and it is developed actively by the Library. Material is collected in any language.

There are strong connections with other collections, especially Mātauranga Māori, Special Collections (early printed material and archives), Microtexts (newspapers and archival collections), and the Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound.

Where heavy demand is anticipated, two, and in some cases more than two copies are acquired. Special efforts are made to duplicate Pacific material, given the difficulty of replacing this material, and in recognition of the collection's international significance. Consideration is given to the holdings of the specialist libraries and the Short Loan Collection, but it is recognised that duplication is frequently justified by heavy demand and by overlapping subject responsibilities.

The Collection's monograph holdings are reinforced by most significant serials relating to the region and every effort is made to acquire new titles on a priority basis, although budgetary constraints mean that serials are not acquired as comprehensively as monographs.

In its coverage of Pacific resources, especially official publications and statistics, the Collection is of international significance, ranking alongside the Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii, and the Social Sciences & Humanities Library of the University of California at San Diego. The main strengths of this collection are Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, French Polynesia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu, Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands. Personal collecting trips to the region and the establishment of networks with Pacific countries are key elements of the development of the Pacific collections. The Library is a member of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau consortium.

For New Zealand and Pacific materials, print is the preferred format, while e-books and e-journals are often linked from catalogue records to provide wider access to the Collection. Since 2011, links to material in the National Digital Heritage Archive have been added on a similar basis as printed material. Sound recordings are not collected, and audiovisual materials are purchased selectively.

The Collection uses the Dewey classification scheme.

Because this is a research collection special efforts are made to replace significant missing items by actively searching for desiderata in secondhand catalogues, or by copying.

Where space restrictions dictate, material is relegated to storage according to the standard criteria. Material identified as meeting the criteria of the New Zealand Glass Case is transferred to that collection. In order to maintain a strong research collection, material is deselected only if it is worn out physically and can be replaced, or if it no longer meets the current selection criteria.

The following are exceptions or variations to the subject coverage of the Collection:

  • Māori material
    Unless its omission would affect the integrity of the New Zealand and Pacific Collection, Māori-related material is mostly collected only by Mātauranga Māori. There is inevitably some duplication between the two collections (e.g., in literature and history).
  • Education (including Māori and Pacific material)
    • The following subject areas are collected by the Sylvia-Ashton Warner Library:
      Teacher education and practice; teacher resources, including textbooks, kits and curricular resources; educational research unless of interdisciplinary interest; children’s and young adults’ literature, unless required for City Campus courses.
    • The following subject areas are collected but may duplicate other collections:
      general and interdisciplinary works on education in New Zealand; general policy and political aspects of education (education and state); major histories of schools and educational organisations, mostly upper North Island; Pacific education in general; the NZ funding framework; curriculum framework, but not curriculum documents; educational sociology and psychology; adult education and literacy; rural education; government documents, NZ legislation relating to education.
  • Religion
    The histories of individual churches outside the boundaries of the former Auckland Province (approximately north of a line of latitude running from Lake Taupo) are excluded, unless of interdisciplinary significance.
  • Sport and Recreation
    The histories of organisations below national level outside the boundaries of the former Auckland Province are excluded as well as purely descriptive works on a particular sport in the New Zealand context.
  • Genealogy
    Family histories which do not relate to, or only partly relate to the former Auckland Province are excluded, unless they have significance other than as a record of a family's history (e.g., contributing to our resources on farming history, and Pacific history).
  • Law
    Most legal texts are excluded unless they are likely to be used by the principal users of the Collection. Most general works and guides on the law are collected (e.g., tenancy, freedom of information, taxation, Pacific indigenous and customary law, and business-related material). The Davis Law Library is the primary library for case law.
  • Medicine
    General works, those of interdisciplinary relevance (e.g., works on public health administration), and histories of organisations are included, but specialist works are collected by the Philson Library.
  • Pure Sciences
    Most works are located in the General Library science collections.
  • Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology
    General works, those of interdisciplinary relevance, and histories of organisations are included, but most other works are in the general collection.
  • Agriculture and Horticulture
    Technical works are excluded but general works, those of interdisciplinary relevance, biographies and histories of organisations are included.
  • Resource Management and Planning
    General works, those of interdisciplinary relevance, and histories of organisations are included. Technical works, district schemes, management plans and other planning documents are in the Main Collection, General Library, but material selected for geography is held in the New Zealand and Pacific Collection.
  • Fine Arts
    Most works are collected as they relate closely to the region's society and culture, and exhibition catalogues, which add substantially to our resources on artists and their work, are collected by Special Collections.
  • Literature
    Light romances and foreign language translations are excluded.
  • Music
    Music scores are collected by the General Library.
  • Description and Travel
    Pictorial works are acquired selectively. Foreign language guides to New Zealand and the Pacific are excluded unless of interdisciplinary relevance.

Reviewed April 2013.