Presbyterian Research CentreThe Archive and Library for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
History of the Archives
The Presbyterian Research Centre Archive derives from the Historical Records Committee which was established in 1927 to encourage the preservation of the church’s historic records, and is authorised by the General Assembly to call in material which is deemed worthy of preservation, is no longer current to general business and/or is at risk of loss, damage or deterioration, the General Assembly accepting the responsibility to ensure there is adequate arrangement for their preservation.
The Archive holds documents from the General Assembly, General Assembly committees, foreign missions, local and national Presbyterian women's and youth organisations, parishes and presbyteries throughout New Zealand, co-operating and uniting parishes, Knox College, Knox Centre for Ministry & leadership (and its predecessors) and the personal papers of ministers and prominent Presbyterian laymen and women from throughout the country.
The history and belief of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is closely linked to its reformed heritage. Our early New Zealand Presbyterian history was shaped by Scottish and English Presbyterian settlers wanting to build a better world for themselves and their families. New Zealand Presbyterianism today continues the dynamic tradition of our forebears. Grounded in this heritage the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is orientated to a progressive future, to diverse ways of becoming Church of the 21st Century.
Our archive collections therefore, facilitate our understanding of this heritage tradition. Each generation contributes to the continuing story with a distinct witness, faithfulness, and response to the revelation and leading of God. Like building blocks, the layers of experience located in the documents inspire and contribute new insights as we re-examine our mission, responsibilities and expectations in the light of changing perspectives. The documents reassure us that our present experiences and decision-making will become additional building blocks for future outcomes.
The efforts of many over the last decades has resulted in the Presbyterian Archives Research Centre being now recognised as a significant professional research institution across New Zealand Archives and Libraries, Academic and Educational Institutions, Religious and Theological Institutions and the broader research communities. It has become a vibrant and outward looking service which offers opportunities of learning. Many more people within and outside New Zealand are making extensive use of our Archives and its diverse collections as researchers seek answers to enable them to respond to their present and future interests.