The Friends of the Turnbull Library (FoTL) is a national organisation, supporting the work and activities of the Alexander Turnbull Library since 1939.

Titiro ki muri kia whakatika ā mua. Preserving the past to enlighten the future.


The Alexander Turnbull Library is a guardian of our heritage, a great research institution serving the general public and scholars in the fields of historical research, literary, cultural and genealogical studies. The Friends of the Turnbull Library promotes public interest in the Library’s collections and supports research and use of its collections.

2024 Speaker Programme

Go to the WHAT’S ON page to see details of what is coming up in our monthly programme of public talks.

Held in Taiwhanga Kauhau — the National Library Wellington Audi torium, (lower ground) -entrance from Aitken Street, Thorndon.

In Auckland, held at the Takapuna Library, 9 The Strand. Our first event for 2024 will be on Wednesday 12 June at 6.30pm. For details, click here.

For those who missed the May Speaker Event – Norman Meehan: Jenny McLeod, Tracing Threads – the Speech Notes are now available (including links): Jenny McLeod – Tracing Threads [Turnbull Library]



Dame Claudia Orange DNZM OBE CRSNZ

Te Tiriti/Treaty of Waitangi: Re-setting the balance?


Taiwhanga Kauhau — the National Library Wellington Auditorium -entrance from Aitken Street, Thorndon.

Dame Claudia will speak at 6pm with light refreshments to follow after.

Please RSVP by 14 June to:


The Friends of the Turnbull Library (FoTL) is a national organisation, supporting the work of the Alexander Turnbull Library since 1939. The annual Friends of the Turnbull Library Founder Lecture is held on or near the 28 June to celebrate the official opening of the Alexander Turnbull Library on 28 June 1920.

This year the esteemed historian and author Dame Claudia Orange DNZM OBE CRSNZ will deliver the 2024 Founder Lecture. READ MORE…

Coming up…

TUESDAY 11 JUNE 2024, 5.30PM

Richard Hill & Steven Loveridge: Vignettes from Wellington’s Secret History

In this talk Richard Hill and Steven Loveridge discuss some of their experiences of researching the elusive and murky history of security intelligence. They canvass some sites around Wellington linked to local spycraft – including some close to the Turnbull Library. Their recent book Secret History is the first of a two-volume series on state surveillance in New Zealand during the twentieth-century.

Richard Hill has written four books on the history of policing in New Zealand and two on Crown–Māori relations in the 20th century. He is a Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and Emeritus Professor at the Stout Research Centre for NZ Studies where, among other things, he runs the Security and Surveillance Project.

Steven Loveridge is an historian whose research focuses upon governance, security intelligence, and war and society. Besides Secret History, his recent publications include the co-authored The Home Front, an authoritative examination of New Zealand’s society during World War I; and content within New Zealand’s Foreign Service and Histories of Hate.


Cristina Sanders: ‘Historical Fiction – a Plausible Truth?’

Join us at Takapuna Library, 9 The Strand

6pm Wednesday 12 June 2024

Light refreshments available before Cristina’s talk at 6.30pm. Donations welcome.


2024/25 Subscriptions….

…are now due.  Please see the Join Us link above.

NOTE: If you have joined the Friends of Turnbull Library online in the past few months, and have paid your membership subscription via internet banking, PLEASE NOTE that we need your contact details. Copies of the 2023 Turnbull Library Record have been mailed to members, and the annual magazine Off The Record will be mailed in early May: so we need your postal address. Please contact us at to supply your contact details.

Tuesday 28 JuneFOUNDER LECTURE 2022
Tuesday 28 JuneFOUNDER LECTURE 2022
Tuesday 28 JuneFOUNDER LECTURE 2022
Tuesday 28 June