Diocese of Dunedin Archives

Advice for Parishes and Researchers

The Hocken Collections is the repository for archives of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin for the Otago region and for many Otago Churches and Parishes. The records of the Diocese for the Southland region were held at Hocken until 2017, but now have been transferred to the Invercargill City Libraries & Archives. The North Otago Museum holds records from North Otago churches and parishes.


The Hocken holds records of over 60 individual Anglican churches and parishes from the Otago region. Their contents vary, but include marriage registers, baptismal registers, service registers, minutes, correspondence, financial records, photographs and records of various church organisations (such as women’s groups and youth organisations). The Hocken also holds many publications relating to the history of Anglicans, and Anglican Churches.

Hocken Research Guides

The Hocken research guides offer helpful advice on researching family history and whakapapa as well as broader research topics. Guides of particular relevance to Anglican researchers are:

  • General guide to genealogical sources at the Hocken
  • Researching Whakapapa
  • Births, Deaths & Marriages
  • Religion
  • Orphanages

A full list of guides available for download is here. 

In addition to records of Churches and Parishes, there are also the administrative records of the Diocese Of Dunedin from the 1860s onwards and records of a wide variety of other Anglican organisations including the Association of Anglican Women, Diocesan Anglican Women’s Network, Dunedin Clerical Society, Association of Lay Ministers, Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary, St Barnabas Home for the Aged, Otago Anglican Youth Council, Selwyn College and St Hilda’s Collegiate School and others.

Fan Peake’s Wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral, 1936 (St Hilda’s Collegiate)

Access to the Archives

Please note that access to some of these records requires the permission of the Bishop or Registrar. Contact the Hocken for details of restrictions and advice on how to arrange permission.

The Diocesan office has some material on site at Peter Mann House in Green Island. Contact the Registrar – we may be able to help you.


  • Visit the Hocken at 90 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin.
    The Hocken Collections provides a written reference service, and can research specific enquiries. Contact archives.hocken@otago.ac.nz OR phone: 03-479 8875



St Mark’s Anglican Church, Balclutha, 1894
Opening of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Balclutha, 26 March 1960

Advice for Churches and Parishes

Representatives of individual churches and parishes holding older records who need advice on archiving should contact the Hocken Collections to discuss transfer of the records to the Hocken for safekeeping.

Contact us: Archives.hocken@otago.ac.nz OR phone: 03-4798875

Records that are important to keep are:

  • Baptism and marriage registers
  • Other service registers
  • Cemetery records
  • Vestry records
  • Other committee records
  • Records of anniversary or other significant commemorations
  • Annual financial records
  • Property records, building plans and specifications, building restoration records
  • Sunday School records
  • Choir records
  • Records of organisations associated with the church such as the Mother’s Union, Server’s Guild, Ladies Guild, Association of Anglican Women, etc.
  • Photos of significant people and events in the life of the Church or Parish

Links to other Useful Resources

John Kinder Theological Library also has useful resources on parish archiving, especially in their Anglican Archives section. The pages below have a .pdf version of documents that you can download:

They are also pointing people towards the Digital NZ site www.digitalnz.org

This is a amalgamated site of digital records from a large number of NZ libraries and archives, including John Kinder Theological Library.  Digital NZ is able to “harvest” various librariy content, and make it available through their platform. 

You can go to the above site, and choose us from the list of partners, or do a search on a topic and then limit it by the search results that are ours.  Below is a link that brings up all of our records on this site.  Including the publications it is 12500 items; photos there are over 2000 photos uploaded.


If you use the Library’s Discovery search option for  the catalogue https://anglicat.kinderlibrary.ac.nz/  – it also pulls up the Digital New Zealand record, so for example if you search general synod, you will get to the digital copies of the General Synod proceedings.  Think of it as the one pot of publications and photographs, with several ways to get at the pot. 

The Anglican Historical Society has some great information and resources about Anglican History in Aotearoa-New Zealand and the Pacific.. If you are interested in Anglican History, you are welcome to join this group: email Tony Surman, the AHS secretary, at historyanglican.nz@gmail.com.


How about starting a “Ephemera Box” that you can put in anything small that is worth keeping? Every now and then you can collect what you have, contact the Hocken library and arrange to deposit this.

Parish Newsletters

Did you know that the Hocken Library is interested in receiving these in electronic or hard copy? Contact them if they do not have a copy being sent to them.



Diocesan Archives Committee

The Diocese has an Archives Committee who support Diocesan archival activity. Members include:


  • Mr Alan Edwards, Convener
  • Ms Louise Booth
  • Mr Mark Hughes
  • Mr Stuart Strachan
  • Mr Andrew Metcalfe (Diocesan Registrar), ex officio
Drawing of original Holy Trinity interior, North Invercargill
Original Holy Trinity Church-Hall North Invercargill, 1930’s
Skip to content