About Archives Central

Archives Central is an online database used for listing council archives and making digital versions of them available – participating councils include Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Whanganui District Council, Rangitikei District Council, Manawatu District Council, Palmerston North City Council, Tararua District Council, Horowhenua District Council Ruapehu District Council and Horizons Regional Council (click a council on the map to find out more).

This database is one of the outcomes of the Regional Archives Project through MW LASS Ltd (Manawatu-Wanganui Local Authority Shared Services Ltd). The Whanganui District Council and Palmerston North City Council store their own archives, but the other six councils have placed their archives in a shared facility, a second outcome of the MW LASS project. You can learn more about Archives Central by playing the video below.

About MW LASS Ltd

Manawatu-Wanganui Local Authority Shared Services Ltd (MW LASS) was created in 2008 to provide a platform on which collaborative projects could be based between the eight councils in the Horizons Region. Under MW LASS a number of projects have been initiated with two objectives, firstly, improved service to all the participating councils and secondly, reduced costs. Archives Central is one of these projects.

How this website and database is organised

This website is split into a number of different baskets (or sections). Each council participating in the Archives Central project has their own basket, where the series and items that make up their archives are listed. The entries for the agencies that created those series and items, across all council collections, are stored together in a single separate Agencies basket. All items, series and agencies provide links to the related entries, regardless of what basket they are based in.

You can restrict your search to one particular basket, or set it to search over them all. See the help section for more information on searching for items.

How archives are organised

While libraries arrange their books by subject, records in an archive are arranged in the order in which they were received. Records are not identified by their subject but by who made them or used them.

There are several different ways to organise archives, but the ones listed here are arranged using the Australian series system. Under this system there are three important and related elements: agencies, series and items. A single agency may have created many series, and a series may consist of thousands of individual items, or as few as one.

In Archives Central you will find entries for items, series and agencies. The default setting for the search will only look for items, but if you open the advanced search options and select the appropriate options you will be able to search for series or agencies.

Where do I go to see the archives?

Whanganui District Council and Palmerston North City Council store their own archives. Requests for information from these two collections need to be made to them. The other councils store their archives in a shared facility at 40 Bowen Street, Feilding, which opened in October 2012.

Website information

Archives Central is run on Kete open source software. Kete was developed by Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications Ltd.

www.Kete.net.nz is the home of the Kete software community; for those that are using Kete, thinking about using it, or just interested in knowing more.

About the Archives Central Logo

The Archives Central logo, which can be seen at the top right on the pages of this website, contains the following elements and representations:

  • The lines represent the ordered process involved in archiving
  • The central mustard coloured element represents the heart of the project, and also the Koru. The Koru represents new beginnings, new life and abundance in Maori culture.