HB Williams Memorial Library

The H.B. Williams Memorial Library is the public library located in Gisborne.

Our Taonga

The library contains many great treasures of Ngati Porou. From local books to hard-to-find theses, the library has a great range of taonga for those undertaking research.

At the Library

Reference collection

The library has a great historical research collection. This includes:

Balneavis collection

Raumoana Balneavis was secretary to Ta Apirana and an avid collector of Maori and Pacific books. The collection was originally gifted to the then Maori Affairs Department but later transferred to this library. These books cover many aspects of Maori and Ngati Porou history.

Genealogy: Whakapapa

Local newspapers from 19th century, shipping lists, land deed indexes, family histories, tribal Whakapapa, genealogical research directories, electoral rolls, military records and periodicals are amongst the items to assist with family research.

Maori reference material

Covering local and national tribal areas and people, includes some unpublished theses, material about Treaty of Waitangi and current claims, Turton's land deals, whakapapa, periodicals and the Balneavis Collection.  Also Maori newspapers on microfilm, and Fletcher's guide to Maori names.


The library has a great electronic offering with several databases registered members can access. One of the highlights is the Gisborne Photo News, which the library offers online to everyone.

Who can use the library?

People living in the Gisborne and Wairoa districts can join the library for free. Others can still come in and access the research material.


Visit the website

Or visit the Library at 35 Peel Street, Gisborne

He Taonga | A highlight

Mako Allen is the Maori subject librarian at the Gisborne Library. In the video below she shares some of her background and passion for the material in the library, as well as some of the highlights of the resources held in the collections.