Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui


Wellington City Libraries carries approximately 3000 magazines from around the world, on subjects from the very popular to the esoteric, in languages ranging from Chinese to French, Somali to Arabic.

Most magazines cost 50c each for one week's issue. Exceptions are the NZ Reference Collection, and the special Bestsellers collection. The latter is for those who want to borrow the latest popular magazines, without waiting, for $2.50. We also have a range of magazines in foreign languages which support migrant communities in Wellington and in te Reo Māori. These magazine titles are issued free of charge.

Searching the catalogue

In the Classic Catalogue :

  • If you know the title, select the Title Browse search option
  • If you know the subject, either select the Subjects search or Keyword search to see what WCL holds on that topic.
  • If you do a Subjects search, type in the subject and the word 'periodicals'. For example, try gardening periodicals or politics periodicals.
  • If you do a Keyword search, type in the subject or a word you know is in the magazine title, and type 'qmagazine' to restrict the search to magazines. For example, try garden qmagazine or political qmagazine.

Once you have located a magazine that you are interested in, click on the title to bring up the full catalogue record. This shows:

  • The date range for which WCL holds this magazine (Some titles become valuable research tools and are held for many decades, such as National Geographic and Time.
  • Whether WCL still subscribes to the magazine (if the library has stopped its subscription or the publication has ceased, back copies for the dates listed on the catalogue are still available for borrowing - just ask at an enquiries desk)
  • Changes in the magazine's title
  • Which branches hold the library
  • Which copies are currently available for loan at each branch

Please ask library staff for assistance if you have difficulty locating the magazine issue that you want.

Magazine lists

  • Printed magazine lists: Each floor holds a printed list of magazines available in its own area. These lending magazine lists are displayed closest to the stairwell on the first floor of the Central library. They give an alphabetical list, and a subject list of magazine titles held in the area. A map next to the list will assist you in locating the magazine title. A separate list of all magazines held by the Central Library are held at the Enquiries desk on each floor.

  • Science and Humanities: Magazines on subjects such as computing, business, health, politics, social issues and religion. Click here for the alphabetical title list and subject list.

  • Art, Music and Literature: Magazines on subjects such as film, popular and classical music, interior design and sport. Click here for the alphabetical title list and subject list.

  • New Zealand & Maori reference magazines: Click here for the alphabetical title list There are lending copies of many of these magazines available - check the other lists or library catalogue if you are after a lending copy.

  • Branch magazines: Branches hold many magazines for adults, children and young adults.

  • Foreign language magazines: Click here for a list of the foreign language magazines currently available.


Thousands of additional titles are available on the EBSCO database in mygateway.info, which can be used in the library and from home or work. Enquiries Desk staff can explain how to access this database.

Magazines with full-text coverage include Harvard Business Review, Rolling Stone, The Economist and almost 3000 other titles; many more magazines are indexed. Advanced search options are available, or you can read the latest articles of your favourite magazine. Ask at any subject or branch library Enquiries Desk to see the full printed list of EBSCO database magazines; or, login to EBSCO and select one of the 'Title List' links on the 'Choose Databases' screen.

Check EBSCO's Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre for New Zealand titles such as Art New Zealand, Consumer, Management, Metro, New Zealand Listener and NZ Marketing Magazine.

Where to find magazines

Central Library

  • Children and Young Adults' Magazines are held at the South end of the ground floor, which holds its own collection of magazines for those age groups.

  • The Bestsellers magazine collection is located on the red stand near the library exit on the Victoria street side of the ground floor.

  • The 1st Floor holds the bulk of the lending collection, covering all topics in the sciences, humanities, arts & crafts, music, literature and sport areas. New Zealand titles include The Listener, North & South, Art New Zealand, Pavement, Landfall, Rip it Up, NZ Surfing, and many others.

    • Issues can be reserved, or borrowed for one week.

    • Science and Humanities magazines are located to the north of the first floor escalators.

    • Art, music, literature, music, travel and foreign language magazines are located to the south of the escalators.

  • The 2nd Floor carries a collection of magazines specific to New Zealand. New Zealand Reference magazines (SER NZ collection) are held to the south end of the 2nd floor. These are Reference only (i.e. cannot be borrowed), although some titles are also held in the lending collection. There is also a separate magazine collection in the Maori Collection Victoria street side of the escalators 2nd floor, for those studying Maori language, culture and history.

Branch Libraries

WCL has 11 Branches and all carry a range of magazines for immediate borrowing. Branches dispose of their magazines when they become outdated or damaged. A list of titles is available here.

The larger Branches hold the same range of Bestseller magazines as the Central library.

Note: Some titles are held by Branches only, but any copy of any magazine can be reserved at any location. The public computer catalogue explains the location of each title.

How to reserve magazines

  • In a Library building: Fill in a yellow Reserve card and leave at any Enquiries desk. There is a $2 charge for adult reserves, to be paid upon collection of the reserve. If you have a Community Services Card the fee is $1.

  • Through the WCL website or catalogue: Click on the Place a Magazine Reserve link at the bottom of the search page which will activate an e-mail to staff. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Note: Library members are invited to submit suggestions for any magazine title not currently held - fill in the request form and select the 'suggestion to buy' button at the top.

Back issues

We don't just have the latest magazines - we hold back issues of most major titles such as National Geographic and Scientific American. If you're after magazine articles published during WWII, see Time, Newsweek, Life; if you're interested in New Zealand art, we have Art New Zealand, issue 1 onwards. Our oldest magazine might be Blackwoods Magazine April 1817.

To access our older magazines, just ask at any Central Enquiries desk or place a reserve at your branch library.

To see which back issues we hold, look up a magazine title on our catalogue. For example, under National Geographic the catalogue says "Serial Holdings: v25no3(1923) - ", which means we hold all issues from volume 25, number 3, 1923 onwards.

Some back issues are reference only and must be used in the library.

Popular Topics I Library Catalogues