The Treasury is aptly named. Our Archive and Reading Room are a tangible, well-kept treasure trove of documentary heritage - family history books, jubilee books, area history books, manuscripts, photographs, letters, maps, historical society magazines, newspapers, genealogical books, gold mine information, records, and certificates – all relating to the (currently largely early colonisation) history of Te Tara o Te Ika a Māui (the jagged barb of Māui’s fish) which is the entire Coromandel Peninsula, Paeroa, Waikino, Ohinemuri, Te Aroha, Whangamata, Waihi, the Hauraki Plains and the communities between – an area rich in a history of early European pioneers of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
From the arrival of Lieutenant James Cook and crew of HMB Endeavour on our shores, to the gold rush of the late 19th century, to war heroes and early mayors of the town, The Treasury collects, preserves, safely stores, archives and documents year by year, the history of our region including the pioneering families who settled here, the businesses that were established, and the travellers who passed through. We are also delighted to be able to share with you collections from local and regional historians.
From the moment The Treasury opened its doors, material donations to the collection have flooded in, completely overwhelming the small, volunteer-run operation. Over a ten-year period, a significant backlog of cataloguing developed. In mid-2021, The Treasury embarked on a major multi-year Collection Management Project – Towards the Future: Preserving the Past - supported by more than seven individual funders and a donation from a local philanthropist, to delve into the depths of the Archive, cataloguing its contents and digitising selected taonga/objects.
While addressing the backlog, a policy of cataloguing collections as they arrive in has been arrived at. Therefore, some of the collections you can research at The Treasury are detailed on this site, while others will need to be accessed by our volunteers on your behalf. Similarly, books and journals held in our Reading Room are readily accessible physically by researchers, while, until items stored in the Archive are fully catalogued, accessing these items needs to be undertaken by The Treasury staff or volunteers.
We are deeply honoured to house many significant and unique collections at The Treasury, a collection which is growing year by year. During 2022 it is our hope that kōrero will begin and links with Tangata Whenua will be forged developing over time greater cultural diversity of The Treasury’s stories and kōrero.
The Treasury’s Pioneer Family Register documents the arrivals in our rohe/district - Te Tara o Te Ika a Māui/Thames, Coromandel, Hauraki rohe - of early colonial families. This register, compiled by one of The Treasury’s many volunteers, includes the name of the ship the family originally arrived on, where possible the date of the family’s arrival, and many other details.
The Pioneer Families Register is accessible within The Treasury if you are able to visit in person. Alternatively, if you are unable to visit in person, for a small fee one of our volunteers will be available to search the Register on your behalf.
If you had early family in this region and would like to include your family detail in The Treasury’s Pioneer Family Register please complete and submit the Pioneer Families Register Form.
The Treasury's collections are nothing without the many people, organisations and businesses who have donated their records, photographs, family trees, letters, books and other treasures to our archives over the years. Do you have taonga/treasures you believe belong at The Treasury? Please consider donating them for safe keeping in our award-winning, state-of-the-art Archive facility. Visit our Donate your Collections page for more information.
As well as the major collections listed below, The Treasury houses significant documentary heritage in the form of maps and plans, newspapers, fiche, letters, manuscripts, books, photographs, NZ Government Gazettes, mines information and much more.
The Treasury’s doors are open to both physical and remote visitors. You can explore our abundant collections in person; or you can engage our skilled research team to assist you or even to do all the research yourself; and as more and more of our collection is catalogued and digitised, in the future our whole Archive and Reading Room resources will be accessible and you will be able to research virtually.