Get access to Te Papa's Collections and Archives 

Find out about the various ways that members of the public can access Te Papa’s collections and archives.

Access to collections and collection information

Members of the public can access Te Papa’s collections in various ways apart from the exhibitions. Te Papa has similar custodial responsibilities for information relating to items of the collection as it has for the items themselves.

    • A part of Te Papa's collection information held on KE Emu, its collections information system, is accessible through Colllections Online. Researchers or members of the public wishing to access further collection information held on KE Emu should contact Te Papa on 04-381 7000, or use our online enquiry form.
    • Te Papa provides regular back-of-house tours to collection stores. For further information on the tours, please visit our guided tours page.
    • Access to specific collections in storage or archives is provided to researchers and members of the public who may wish to view particular items, for example, objects or taonga (Māori treasures) with a connection to their family (whānau), hapū (sub-tribe), iwi (tribal group), or region.
    • Te Papa operates an active collection loans programme. Te Papa provides collection items for loan for the purposes of exhibition or display, or to enable research on an object or specimen to be undertaken.

If you wish to access Te Papa's collections and archives for research purposes, you will find more information in our Research Visits page

In some instances, access to particular items or to information on particular items may be restricted. This may occur if the request relates to items or data:

  • that are unusually fragile or do not tolerate repeated exposure to light
  • that are of spiritual or cultural significance to certain community groups
  • that are of archival material that contain confidential or restricted information
  • that are currently being researched
  • that are on loan.

Where access to the collections information system requires a considerable amount of staff time, or the accessed data is to be used for commercial gain, a charge may be applied by Te Papa for this access.

Access to Te Papa's archives

Our Archives – A unique source of information

The Archives of the Museum was established in order to identify and care for records of permanent value and to provide staff and public access to the archives of Te Papa.

Anyone can access Te Papa’s Archives. Access is by appointment with the Archivist and is free; however charges may apply for photocopying.

Te Papa’s Archive is staffed Monday thru Friday and we have a reading room for your use on Level 3 at 169 Tory Street, Wellington. Please contact us for an appointment before visiting or planning your visit to the museum. The appointment dates and times will be subject to the availibility of our archivist.

You can also find  a list of our archives and information on a specific subject on the National Register of Archives & Manuscripts (NRAM). Alternatively, contact us and we'll search the collections for you.

Contact us for an appointment
Find out more about the archives held in our collections
Search the archives in our Collections Online database (work in progress)