Alexander Heritage And Research Library Whanganui
Nationally-renowned Wanganui Collection
Sixteen years in the planning, Wanganui’s long-awaited Alexander Heritage And Research Library was opened on 28 June 1933, funded in most part by the generous gift of Miss E Alexander in memory of her late father Mr James Alexander.
The library has a variety of archive types, such as Voluntary group archives, clubs, societies, Business archives, Art and literature, Military records, Personal papers and Māori archives. The Library is open to the public. Prior arrangement for groups is appreciated and some free parking is available.
Some collections are currently undergoing arrangement and description may be restricted in use. There are no charges to use the library however, photocopying costs 10c per page and microfilm and fiche copies are $1 per page. Staff research is $50 per hour. For photo reproductions, please contact the Library for quotes.
The Alexander’s Art Deco style reflects the trends of the times and was acclaimed as ‘a building worthy of the fifth City of the Dominion’. Designed by Wanganui architects Clifford Newton Hood and John Duffell, built by Walpole and Patterson, the library was described at the time as being “light and airy… (and) modelled on earthquake resisting lines’.
With electric lighting, gas heating, and rimu fittings and furniture throughout, the library boasted a separate reference room, children’s library (with separate entrance), reading room and ‘subscriber’s lounge’. After 50 years’ service to its community, the Alexander Heritage And Research Library was considered too small for Wanganui’s needs, and a new lending library was built adjacent, on the site of Queen’s Park School. The Alexander Heritage And Research Library’s new role, fittingly, is to showcase the Library’s extensive Heritage collections (of increasing national significance), and to provide heritage information and research services.
The Alexander Heritage and Research Library (where the nationally-renowned Wanganui Collection is housed, along with the Lovegrove Military Archive) is operating in a temporary location at 60 Ridgway Street while earthquake strengthening is done on the Queens Park building.
Alexander Heritage And Research Library
Acclaimed as ‘a building worthy of the fifth City of the Dominion’.
Our Own Historian
Cecil Lovegrove was a military historian who lived in Whanganui. Find out about his collections dating back to the First World War.
Free access to search out your history!
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