The National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa in Maori) is New Zealand's legal deposit library and a public service department, charged with the obligation to 'enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations' (National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga) Act 2003). Under the Act, the library is also expected to be:
It is said to be unique, as unlike many other national libraries it is an autonomous government department. The library also has links to primary and secondary schools through its School Services business unit, which has 15 service centres and 3 Curriculum Information Service branches around New Zealand. The Legal Deposit Office is also New Zealand's agency for ISBN and ISSN.
In 1988, the National Library became an autonomous government department where previously it had been administered by the Department of Education. The same year, the Library took on the Maori name Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, which translated means: the wellspring of knowledge,of New Zealand.
The National Library divides its collections into three main groups: the National Library General Collections, the National Library Schools Collection, and the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library. The National Library General Collections focus on supporting the information needs of New Zealanders through services to individuals, schools and researchers, with notable collections such as the Dorothy Neale White Collection The National Library Schools Collection contains fiction and non-fiction books, videos and DVDs to support teaching and learning in New Zealand schools. Access to many collections is provided through digital products and online resources.
The Alexander Turnbull Library's former site at Turnbull House in Bowen Street is now run by the Department of Conservation.
This Library was opened to the public on June 28, 1918
The National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA) Programme is the National Library of New Zealand's technical and business solution to this challenge.
A digital storehouse, the eventual NDHA will ensure that websites, digital images, CDs, DVDs and other 'digital born' and digitised items that make up the Library's growing digital heritage collections will, despite technical obsolescence, be preserved and remain accessible to researchers, students and library users now and in the future.
While ‘Preservation’ is the essential software that will make up the NDHA, the NDHA Programme is concurrently completing significant work to prepare the organisation’s business processes and hardware environment and developing software to integrate ‘Preservation’ with other applications the Library uses to provide access to digital collections.
Digital preservation management is an emerging field and the NDHA Programme is pioneering development. Established in 2004, the NDHA Programme is due to be completed in late 2009.