Using the website

Some tips and tricks you can use to get the best out of this website.

Using the main search field and sidebar filters


  1. Enter the term(s) you are looking for into the search field at the top right of the site and click Search. This will bring up a list of results across the entire Archives Central collection relating to your search terms. For example the search below provides 102 results.

    An image of the search field at the top right of this site
  2. Restrict your search to an exact phrase by enclosing the term you want to search with quotation marks (e.g. "Foxton Harbour"). Items that feature those words together in that order will be displayed first in the results list. For the Foxton Harbour example, there are now only 40 results.
  3. Refine the results by using the sidebar checkboxes to select which councils or record types you are looking for. Using the Foxton Harbour example we can reduce the search results to the seven maps, plans and charts in the Horowhenua District Council collection.

    An image of the checkbox options in the right sidebar of this site.


Using the homepage map to browse by Council

Information Panel

Click on one of the member council polygons to display an information panel with links to their entire collection and the collections of the main predecessors that formed that council.

Default Controls

             An image of the default controls shown on the homepage map


Use the +/- signs to see more detailed boundaries.

View layers

By default the map shows current Regional/District Councils and the location of Archives Central. Click on the Layers icon to turn these layers on/off and view additional layers such as former Borough Councils. This is a great way to find out what local body administered a particular location. More of this information will be added in time.

Additional Controls

            An image of additional controls shown on the homepage map

Terrain Map

By default the background map is basic. Change the background by clicking the dropdown arrow then the terrain icon.



Using the menu tabs to search



If you want to search the records for a particular local authority, click Agents and type the name into the "Filter by name or identifier" search field and click Filter. Using the Foxton example, you should get four results, the Borough Council, Fire, Harbour and Town Boards.

An image of the filter field in the content area of this site

Accessions, Series and Records

You can perform similar searches on the Accession, Series and Records pages, or you can type the reference in directly if you already know it. Re-order your results alphabetically (name), by date or by identifier by clicking in the top bar of the results table.

An image of the top row of a results table


Viewing a PDF

An image of the top bar of the PDF viewer on this site


You can open the Sidebar to display thumbnails of the pages, and click on Document Outline which displays the contents of the digital document. This is especially useful when viewing rate books and minute books. (Note this feature is only incorporated into some uploads).


If the document features Optical Character Recognition you can search the document itself for key words or phrases.

Full screen

By default the PDF is displayed in a half-page viewer. You can make it full screen if you prefer. Unfortunately the zoom function is not available in full screen mode.


Clicking on more Tools gives you further options for viewing, selecting and scrolling.