Local and Family History Resources

Discover your family history and learn more about our region.

Research at your library

Thames, Tairua and Mercury Bay Libraries have a great selection of local books are archival material. Some of these items can be borrowed as usual with your library card, while others are only for use within the library.

  • Books about genealogy and local history are in the general non-fiction section. 
  • Reference items are shelved with the general non-fiction collection. They cannot be borrowed.
  • Closed Reference and Archive items are not stored in the public area of the library. Please ask a staff member to retrieve these items for you.

Take a peek at what's on offer at Thames Library:

Closed Reference 

  • Frequently-requested reference books
  • Thames history books
  • Hauraki history books
  • New Zealand history books
  • Burial records
  • Local newspaper indexes
  • Local photographs


  • Old Thames maps, photographs, anniversary booklets and ephemera
  • Scrapbooks and memories from some major Thames events and celebrations, including the 1993 Suffrage centennial and the centennial celebrations for  the Thames gold rush and the Thames Borough Council in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1902
  • School rolls, including some years for Parawai School and Thames South School
  • Books on Thames and New Zealand history


Check our online catalogue to see if we might have the information you're looking for.


Ancestry Library Edition

The largest online family history resource normally available only with subscriber access to genealogical research material. Now you can access it free at your library! Visit your local library branch and access Ancestry Library Edition from the home page on our public computers.



New Zealand Society of Genealogists

Once and month at Mercury Bay and Thames Libraries, the local branches on the NZSG set up shop to help you answer your family history research questions. Drop by Thames Library on the second Friday of the month from 10am, or Mercury Bay Library on the third Thursday of the month from 2pm.


The Treasury

The Treasury is a purpose-built archive and family history centre in Thames, run by The Coromandel Heritage Trust. The Treasury preserves and promotes the history and stories of the people in the Thames, Coromandel & Hauraki region - a region which played such a big part in the early development of New Zealand. Their vast collection includes newspapers, school rolls, oral history recordings, local published and unpublished books, minute books from local clubs and businesses, and personal archival collections.

It is possible to search for your local ancestors in The Treasury's database on their website. The search results will give you the OUI (Obsure Unique Indicator) number for the exact pages, books and book shelves in The Treasury's collection where information about your ancestor is stored. When you visit The Treasury, the OUI will help you find the information you need. If you're out of town, ask The Treasury about hiring a researcher.


Papers Past 

Papers Past contains more than two million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 77 publications from all regions of New Zealand. Local publications include the Thames Star,  Thames Advertiser, Waikato Times and Ohinemuri Gazette.


Kete Hauraki Coromandel

This kete has been created to collect and preserve the stories of our communities - current and historical. 


Click here to learn more about the history of public libraries on the Coromandel.