Collections & Research

Papakura Museum is always looking to add to its collection of artefact and archival material.

Artefact is used in our exhibitions – permanent and temporary – to help us tell the story we are trying to narrate to our visitors. It is an important part of a curated display. If you have some items that have a specific connection to Papakura and its surrounding areas that you no longer want, please get in touch with us. If you are unsure of the connection, still contact us as the item may be a general artefact that we do not have.

Archival material can take many formats from land documents to family trees, newspapers to photographs. If you have items you are willing to share with us that have a local connection, we would love to hear from you. While the original is always appreciated, we are happy to scan the material (if appropriate – condition of the item will be appraised first)...

...and place this copy in our collection. Archival material is used for research for exhibitions, talks and publications. Our collection is also available to be accessed by the public (with some restrictions on fragile items).

Oral histories are also a part of our collection that we would like to increase. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s story is important. If you, and your family, have a strong connection to our town and district, a connection with the Papakura Military camp or any of the businesses that once graced our main street or the companies that operated from Papakura’s light industrial area we would love to hear from you. One of our volunteer interviewers will set up an appointment to talk with you and organise the proper recording of your story.

Interested in donating something to our Museum?

In order to maintain a high standard of care for our objects, and stay relevant to our community, we have clear boundaries around what we can and cannot accept as new acquisitions.

All new acquisitions must have a clear association to Papakura and surrounding districts, or the people who populate, or have once populated this area. As we aim to have a collection that covers the breadth and depth of the region, objects that are not relevant to the area need to be declined, as do objects that are already well represented in the collection. These parameters are to sustain the integrity of the collection and allow the Museum to best utilise resources.

Objects must be in reasonable condition, unless very rare and relevant to the collection. Similarly, photographs, manuscripts, and other paper-based artifacts must be originals (i.e. not photocopies), unless no other example of that work is held, or the condition of the existing work has been compromised.

In order to donate an object, the donor must have legal ownership of it, or permission from the legal owner. Once donated, Papakura Museum can dispose of or on-offer any objects that are no longer relevant to the collection; however the object will be offered back to the original donor in the first instance. If we cannot accept an object, we will endeavour to offer suggestions for who may be interested in the donation.

If you would like to donate an artifact, or if you have questions about donating, contact our Curator, Alan Knowles at


Our Research Room is available during Museum opening hours and is open to the public for those researching their genealogy throughout Papakura and neighbouring Districts.

Our archives include transcribed records, original sources, photographs, maps, published local histories, family histories, and memoirs relating to many well-known early settler families, as well as lesser known families and Māori families that appear in the historical record.

If we do not have the information you are seeking on hand, we will record your query and get back to you or refer you to another source. For very specific requests, or if you are visiting from further afield, we recommend you contact us prior to your visit.