Since 1852, Auckland Museum has been amassing a world-class, encyclopaedic collection, one that now comprises some three million objects and counting—each telling a story that helps interpret, understand, and illuminate the history of Aotearoa and its people.
The museum is a war memorial for the province of Auckland, and houses one the country's oldest heritage research library. The museum's social-history collection comprises more than 200,000 objects, including the world's leading collection of taonga Māori (Māori treasures), which are cared for alongside significant artefacts from throughout Polynesia and the Pacific, other ethnographic objects, and prestigious archaeological material.
Its natural-sciences collection includes thousands of important botanical, marine and land-vertebrate specimens, and its documentary-heritage collection brings to life the rich social, artistic, and commercial history of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland through original letters and diaries, photographs and artworks, maps, ephemera, rare books, early newspapers. There is also a collection of musical instruments, an impressive and wide-ranging decorative-arts collection, and the country's leading collection of European, Asian and New Zealand applied arts, including contemporary and historic ceramics, glass, metalwork, furniture, textiles, and jewellery.