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.



Dame Claudia Orange DNZM OBE CRSNZ

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


Historian and author Dame Claudia Orange DNZM OBE CRSNZ will deliver the 2024 Founder Lecture, reflecting on her four decade career of Te Tiriti o Waitangi scholarship, beginning with her doctoral thesis, The Treaty of Waitangi: A Study of its Making, Interpretation and Role in New Zealand History in 1984.

Dame Claudia will discuss recent research on Te Tiriti, and the impact and influence of the Waitangi Tribunal. She will also comment on potential threats to 50 years of advancing Māori/Crown relationships.



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

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

Please RSVP by 20th June to:

Can’t make it in person?

This event will also be delivered using Zoom. You do not need to install the software in order to attend, you can opt to run Zoom from your browser.

Register using the link below and we’ll send you the link to use on the day.


About the lecture…
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.

About the speaker…
Dame Claudia Orange DNZM OBE CRSNZ

After publishing her award-winning history The Treaty of Waitangi in 1987, which won ‘Book of the Year’ at the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Award in 1988, Dame Claudia became General Editor of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, released in five volumes with the Māori biographies also in te reo Māori (now online).

A director at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa for many years, and later research associate, Dame Claudia has received many awards and honours for her contribution to a wider understanding of our history, including research for the He Tohu and Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi exhibitions. In 2021, she was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Literary Achievement (Non-fiction).

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

In Auckland, talks are held at the Takapuna Library, 9 The Strand.


Dr Kealani Cook: ‘Passive Resistance and Mass Civil Disobedience in Oceania’

The recipient of a Research Grant from the Friends of the Turnbull Library, Dr Kealani Cook is Associate Professor, Humanities Division, University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu, Kapolei. His research project is a comparative history examining non-violent civil disobedience movements across Oceania. He plans to write a book bringing together four such movements: the Parihaka campaign of peaceful resistance, the Samoan Mau movement, the Maʻasina Ruru movement, and Operation Homecoming at Kwajalein Atoll. MORE INFO TO COME…

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

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