Our Collections

Treasuring, storing, preserving, digitising + sharing our peoples' history

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.  

The nature of documentary heritage means that our archived collection largely begins in the early colonisation period 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.  

Donating - Help us collect and share our history

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Te Whare Pātaka | 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 here? 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.

Our Pioneer Families Register

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The 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 if you are able to visit in our centre 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 our Pioneer Family Register please complete and submit the Pioneer Families Register Form.

Our Collections

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 Hammond Collection
We have a growing collection of manuscripts, photographs and oral history recordings relating to Mr T.W. (Toss) Hammond MBE (1869-1967). He was a local historian whose interests included the early days of the goldfields and Maori history and culture of pre-European New Zealand.
Browse the Catalogue
Paeroa You're Fizzing with History!
Join us at a two day event in Paeroa where we'll be capturing captivating stories and records that deserve to be remembered.
Browse the Catalogue
He Kohikohinga Kōrero
The Tizard Collection
The Tizard Collection is rich in content and scope with records dating back to the mid 18th century. This collection includes manuscripts and photographs relating to Edward Fawconer Tizard(1832-1914), a highly esteemed figure who was a sub-collector at the West Coast goldfields and later part of the Thames Stock Exchange. He married celebrated botanical watercolour artist, Francis Walker Tizard (nee Brassey)(1850-1895). Together they had eight children and settled on a farmstead in Kopu, also known as ‘Tizard Farm’.
Browse the Catalogue
The A&G Price Collection
The A&G Price Collection includes photographs, books and manuscripts of associated figures and the site and wages and correspondence ledgers. The A&G Price foundry was first established in Thames in 1871 by brothers Alfred and George following a short time in Onehunga, Auckland. It was here in Thames they served the local mining industry – creating stamper batteries, pumps, ore feeders, steam engines and boilers. They created many jobs and fostered prosperity for the township.
Browse the Catalogue
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The Doug Campbell Collection
The Doug Campbell Collection highlights the work of Douglas(Doug) Campbell Q.S.M. J.P. RNZAF No. 4215933, NZ Army Regt. No.620907. (1923-2015). Doug was a local Thames figure who was heavily involved in the community. His Collection includes documentary heritage relating to the Thames Church of Christ Life and Advent, Thames Interchurch Council, Thames Hospital and The Hearing Association – Thames Branch. The Collection includes marriage registers dating to the late 19th century, committee documents, correspondence and ephemera.
Browse the Catalogue
Alistair Isdale Manuscripts
Alistair Isdale (1911 - 2001) was a well-known Thames historian for many years. He was the curator of the Mineralogical Museum at the Thames School of Mines. He contributed a column to the local paper, and wrote tirelessly on various aspects of the peninsula in the early years of its development. He was particularly interested in preserving the written history and artefacts of gold mining in the area. He provided many people with reports about their families, and published books as well as articles in historical journals. Many of his manuscripts are in our collection.
Browse the Catalogue
The David Arbury Collection
David was a foundation Trustee of The Coromandel Heritage Trust. The history of the Thames area was his passion and in the last years of his life he made it his full-time work, as a researcher for families looking for their roots, speaking to groups, taking very interesting walking tours of historic Thames around the old areas, cemetery tours, panning for gold, and giving busloads of visitors a day tailor-made to fit their requirements. David entered into the spirit of these trips with great enthusiasm, dressing for the part. He especially loved working with children, to show them their heritage in a meaningful way. David's family have given his lifetime's meticulous research to The Coromandel Heritage Trust, to be housed in The Treasury. Browse the Catalogue of The David Arbury Collection.
Browse the Catalogue
Merv Cunningham Photograph Collection
This collection of 150 photos of early Thames includes photos of the early Thames goldfield as well as several of the destruction caused by devastating floods in the early years. There are people, parade days, churches and the High School to name but a few.
Browse the Catalogue
The Robert Oxner Collection
We would like to acknowledge the very generous donation by Dr Robert Oxner of a magnificent collection of books about the life of Captain James Cook, his voyages, his crew, their finds. This includes wonderful watercolour paintings of botanical specimens, early maps, dairies, biographies. It would be hard to find a better collection. Cook arrived in Mercury Bay on 15 November 1769, and reached Kopu by the 20th, naming the river The Thames. This collection will be a great asset to all early New Zealand historical research. Browse the Catalogue of the Robert Oxner Collection.
Browse the Catalogue
The Pioneer Family Register
The Pioneer Family Register is a collection of forms filled in by people with early family in this region, under the umbrella of The Hauraki Thames Indexing Group. We have had an amazing response to this project, with forms arriving from all over New Zealand, and from overseas. Frequently people have sent in extra information, or provided a photoand these are filed separately. Some have sent in family history books as well. The forms contain much interesting information about our early settlers - where they came from, the boat they came out on, their interests, their children's names, as well as the dates for these events where known. On the reverse side is the name of the person submitting this information - so a family researcher wanting more information has the address of someone to contact. If you had early family in this region, please fill out a Pioneer Family Register Form for us.
Browse the Catalogue
Oral Histories
Our Oral History Group collect oral histories from people in our communities with stories to tell. Our extensive collection of recorded oral histories are an extremely valuable method of keeping history alive for future generations. The Catalogue of Completed Oral Histories.
Browse the Catalogue
The Marie Pay Newspaper Index
Marie Pay has indexed The New Zealand Observer And Free Lance, from 1880 - 1909, with reference to early Thames names and events. There are thousands of names on this index, along with the page reference and a brief comment on the topic. This has been further expanded to include names from all over the peninsula. Great snippets to pad out your family picture - gossip, what they wore to various functions, marriages, scandals and mining information.
Browse the Catalogue
The Commemoration Books
Pages commemorating early family or businesses, people or businesses living currently in the region, clubs etc. The information has been submitted by a family member/donor, along with a photo. These pages also acknowledge the donor. A $100 donation gives you a page. These will later be made into 'books' and prominently displayed in the foyer of The Treasury. Not only do they become an interesting information resource about you or your early family, but we can acknowledge our donors by putting their name at the bottom of their page.
Browse the Catalogue
The Thames Museum Photograph Collection
This collection includes all the framed photographs formerly held by the Museum, some very large and very early, as well as all the larger mounted photos. A great record of early Thames and its families.
Browse the Catalogue
The Thames Star and Hauraki Herald Collection
The Thames Star and subsequent Hauraki Herald newspapers circulated throughout the Thames Valley including Thames and the Hauraki Plains. Our collection includes bound volumes of the Thames Stars from 1907 on and the Hauraki Herald. Most of these Thames Star editions are not yet available electronically or online but provide a huge wealth of detailed information about our past from characters to happenings and social trends. Our collection also includes photographs and negatives taken for a lot of the Hauraki Herald articles, and scrapbooks with photos.
Browse the Catalogue
St George's Church Collection
This collection is a great record of the church and contains some records going back to 1868. Included are invoices, correspondence, cheque butts, deposit slips etc. It also includes architects plans, maintenance and conservation reports, minutes of the vestry and various other groups within the church, newsletters and AGM reports.
Browse the Catalogue
The Thames Pre-1930 Businesses Collection
Folders - where possible these contain the location, owners, articles, letterheads, advertisements, images.
Browse the Catalogue
The Thames Hotels Collection
Folders - where possible these contain location, licensees, articles, images
Browse the Catalogue
The Thames Hospital Collection
Folders - history, articles, buildings, nurses, training, images
Browse the Catalogue
The Thames Schools Collection
Folders - closed & open schools, location, teachers, articles, images.
Browse the Catalogue
The Thames Churches Collection
Folders - history, location, ministers, articles, images.
Browse the Catalogue
Hauraki History Books
Books - about the different towns, histories, school magazines, jubilee books, centennial books, clubs, organisations, churches, hospitals, businesses, schools.
Browse the Catalogue
The Towns of Hauraki Collection
Folders - articles about the different towns, articles, reports, reminiscences, history, businesses, houses, churches, structures, maps, titles, events, images, sites, tangata whenua.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki Pioneer Family Register Collection
Folders - forms, where the settlers came from, which boat, when they arrived, locations they lived in, when they came to the Hauraki area, occupations & interests, B D M details, children’s details including spouse’s name.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki Manuscript Collection
Folders – articles written by historians and researchers such as Toss Hammond, Alistair Isdale, David Wilton, Anne Stewart Ball, Meghan Hawkes and more.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki School Records Collection
Folders & CD. Admissions. CD includes teachers’ names.
Browse the Catalogue
The Schools of Hauraki Collection
Folders - closed & open schools, location, teachers, articles, images.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki Mines Collection
Folders - names of every claim, mine, battery, company we have found mentioned anywhere in our rohe - locations, images, articles, miners’ rights.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki People/Family Records Collection
Folders - trees, stories, articles, images, filed alphabetically under surnames.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki 'Personal Notices' Collection
Folders - from local newspapers, B D Ms, obits, anniversaries.
Browse the Catalogue
Hauraki Cemetery Records
Folders – closed and open cemeteries, locations, images, burial details.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki Birth, Death and Marriages Collection
Folders - certificates with a connection to local families, and may include certificates from overseas. Includes births, baptisms, marriages, intention to marry, deaths, burials.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki Boer War Collection
Boer War rifle collection and lists of serving soldiers, teachers, articles, images, Boer War rifle collection.
Browse the Catalogue
The Hauraki WWI Collection
Folders - Roll of Honour, list of serving soldiers & nurses, memorials, articles, images.
Browse the Catalogue
The Obituary Collection
Folders – anyone with a connection to Hauraki families. Contain brief details of a person’s life.
Browse the Catalogue
The Service Sheet Collection
Folders - anyone with a connection to Hauraki families. May contain personal details, give names of other family members, and provide photos.
Browse the Catalogue
The Eulogies Collection
Folders - anyone with a connection to Hauraki families, a great record of a person’s life. May contain previously unknown information, interests, achievements, funny stories, family traditions.
Browse the Catalogue
The Headstone Photos Collection
Folders - anyone with a connection to Hauraki families, photos, with extra details where possible.
Browse the Catalogue
The Wedding Photos Collection
Folders - images, details, names of wedding party.
Browse the Catalogue
The Arts Collection
Books & Folders. Works by Hauraki people or about Hauraki items, includes books, poems, songs.
Browse the Catalogue
The Captain Cook Collection
Books - a great collection. History, voyages, diaries, maps, crew, images.
Browse the Catalogue
The Tangata Whenua Collection
Books - a great collection. History, tribes, culture, people, arts/crafts.
Browse the Catalogue
The New Zealand Collection
Books - a large collection containing the early history of NZ, various occupations, people from other areas, Cyclopedia of NZ, Dictionary of NZ Biography, maps, immigrants, shipping, place names & locations, Boer War, WW I & II etc. etc.
Browse the Catalogue
Family History Books
Books - family books written about families/people in the Hauraki area.
Browse the Catalogue
The World Collection
Books - about other countries eg Australian Dictionary of Biography.
Browse the Catalogue
The Genealogy Collection
Fiche and CDs including census records, BDM’s, overseas records.
Browse the Catalogue

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