Wellington City Council Archives

Wellington City Council Archives has selected Recollect as the new Archives Online platform for the City Archives.  WCC Archives will be the 50th Recollect customer and we are delighted to celebrate this significant milestone with them.  After a long and extensive search for a solution that would suit online access to their records and provide a better customer experience they have chosen Recollect, which will enable their community to access, discover, and engage with their historical records.

“This is an exciting opportunity to make Wellington City’s heritage more discoverable and accessible to its community.  We have a long history in working with Wellington City and we are delighted in the confidence that Archives has shown in NZMS in choosing Recollect as their archives on-line platform and it is fitting that they become the milestone 50th customer for Recollect” Gavin Mitchell, General Manager NZMS / Recollect

The archives are a rich resource for both the Council and the public, dating back to 1842 when Wellington became the first site of local government in New Zealand.

Heritage Collection

As well as Council records the Archives hold collections from individuals and organisations such as the Carter Observatory, Centennial Exhibition Company, Early Settlers’ and Historical Association of Wellington, Historic Places Trust Wellington, Island Bay Surf Life Saving and Surf Club, plus many more.

Island Bay Surf Club, Winners Williams Cup at Wanganui – 1934-1935

April Fools Day prank, Civic Square – 01 Apr 1957

There is a wealth of information for researching genealogy and family history, such as minute books, yearbooks, staff records, cemetery records, photographs as well as the 1892 Thomas Ward survey maps


Thomas Ward survey map of Wellington City, sheet 26 – 1892

Mayor and committee members, Mayor T C Hislop wearing mayoral robes and chain – Circa 1938

Property Information

The Council Archives also hold a large volume of property information that is highly sought after by builders, architects, engineers and the wider public interested in Wellington City. Over 650,000 searchable items will eventually be uploaded into Recollect, that number continuing to grow as new material is transferred to the Archives.

“The archives have a wealth of knowledge detailing the city and its communities through the eyes of the City Council. Recollect will broaden how this can be accessed, allowing customers the freedom to browse and discover what they want, when they want. The functionality of the system will also allow us to connect archives together, so we can share and tell more stories about the history of Wellington.” Adrian Humphris, Team Leader City Archives – Wellington City Archives

Recollect will also provide a preservation solution for their digitised collection allowing the originals to rest in secure conservation environments while still being accessible.

The Recollect team are currently running a series of workshops with the Archives team to analyse their collection and existing metadata to identify the requirements of their site implementation.  The new Wellington Archives Online Recollect site is set to be launched mid-2019.

Left -Right:  Jeremy Robson (NZMS), Matilda Fraser, Ayla Koning-Thornton, Nigel Williams (NZMS) (seated), Gavin Mitchell (NZMS), Adrian Humphris (in Mayor’s chair from the Town Hall), Hilary Ackroyd, Tracie Almond (Project Manager), Justin Williams, Avon MacDonald


For more information please contact:

Adrian Humphris, Team Leader City Archives – Wellington City Archives Adrian.Humphris@wcc.govt.nz

Gavin Mitchell, General Manager, NZMS/Recollect – Gavin.Mitchell@micrographics.co.nz