Heritage Collections - Library - University of Canterbury

Heritage Collections - Taonga o Mua

Searching the Collections

You can search the Library’s Heritage collections held at the Macmillan Brown Library via Kā Kohika for art, archives and photographs, and via the Library Catalogue for printed works. If you need help finding material please contact us.

Kā Kohika is our new search interface for our heritage collections and is continually evolving. We continue to make improvements to its functionality and usability. If you have any comments or feedback on the new system, please contact us.

Art Collection - Kohinga Toi

There are approximately 4,985 works in the University of Canterbury art collection, making it one of the largest art collections in the region. The major strength of the collection is its representation of Canterbury art and artists, in particular those who have taught or studied at the University or at the College of Education. The collection includes works in a wide variety of media, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, weavings, and carvings.

Portrait of a Young Girl, Raymond McIntyreA small proportion of the art collection is now available for viewing on-line. As the Library is able to digitise works and negotiate copyright clearance, the on-line resource will continue to expand. If you cannot find what you are searching for on-line, please contact the Art Collection Curator for assistance.


J.B.A. Acland at his desk.  From the Acland archivesThe Library holds over 4000 linear metres of documentary archives from a wide range of organisations, people and families. This material comes in the form of minute books, personal diaries, letters, manuscripts and more.


A Samoan belle, from the John Macmillan Brown papers

The Library has many thousands of photographic images available for use by researchers. These images have mainly been donated by members of the Canterbury and Westland community, both individuals and organisations. The Library also hold hundreds of images originating from the University itself. The images cover a huge range of topics from social affairs and working life to landscapes and technology. The Library has an ongoing project to digitise as many of these images as possible and make them available online.

Architectural Drawings

The Library holds over 100,000 architectural drawings, covering the history of the built environment in Canterbury and Westland from the late 19th century to the modern day.

Rare Books

Decorated initial, Lübeck Bible (1494)

The Rare Books Collection consists of about 7000 volumes of European printed works, including incunabula, and a small number of medieval manuscript items. The printed collection includes books published before 1830, books remarkable for their rarity regardless of age, valuable first and special editions, books notable for their illustrations, and fine-quality facsimile editions.

Online Exhibitions and Featured Collections

The Library has made a number of online exhibitions and featured collections available online. These include Springbok Tour, Ernest Rutherford, photograph and print collections, and recent exhibitions.


Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch. Ph: +64 3 369 4499, (internal ext 94499), macbrown@libr.canterbury.ac.nz

Copying and production fees

These fees apply to the University's Art, Archives, Photograph and Architectural Drawings Collections.