From time to time, you might see a book in the catalogue listed as Stack. These are books which are housed behind the scenes in the Central Library - items that the Library definitely wants to keep, but for some reason (e.g. older condition, or not in as high demand) the open shelf is not the right place for them. Most can be borrowed.

Please ask at the enquiries counter on the Second Floor and staff will be happy to retrieve them.

This webpage will highlight some of these nearly forgotten treasures - note that the author's selections and recommendations of these golden oldies are entirely idiosyncratic!

(Last updated, 8 April 2008)


A wonderful world of hidden treasures is just around the corner...

Wellington City Libraries has kept copies of magazines going back tens of years, and in some cases over a hundred years. We subscribe to over 1,000 magazines, which are kept for up two years on the main shelves. But we also have a stackroom full of back issues which provide a wonderful glimpse into the past. Many of the magazines continue on today, but some have long since faded from view. All of these hidden treasures can be read in the library, and some can be borrowed. Just ask a member of staff for help.

Book coverPunch
Punch is one of the highlights of our stackroom. For over 150 years, this famous magazine poked fun at the British establishment and gave an alternative view of the events of the day. It was well-read and much-loved. We have almost the entire run of issues, from July 1841 until it ceased publication in April 1992. Here is the front cover of the very first issue.

Book coverSchool Journal.
This little publication was a companion for most Kiwi kids as they made their way through primary school. Our collection starts with the first issue in 1907, when stories were called "The Raindrop that did what it could" and poems were called "The Wasp and the Bee". Later editions of the School Journal included illustrations by Rita Angus and Colin McCahon. Writers like Margaret Mahy, Denis Glover and Witi Ihimaera have also contributed over the years.

Book coverBook coverVogue.
Our lending collections have the most recent issues of Vogue magazines from America, Britain and Australia, but in the stackroom we have the classic French Vogue dating back to 1949. The pages are full of wonderful photos showing how fashion has changed. As well as the work of famous designers, you can also look at the impact of iconic models and photographers.

NZ Woman's Weekly.
The Woman's Weekly has been an essential part of New Zealand life and gossip for many years. Our collection goes back to 1983.

Book coverBook coverIllustrated London News.
Before television and radio there was the Illustrated London News. With eye-witness descriptions of political, sporting, cultural and social events, this was how people found out what was happening in the wider world. We have a real treasure trove of historical events from 1851 until the magazine ceased in 2003. Here is an etching of the Duke of Wellington's funeral in 1852 and a photograph from the trenches of World War One.

Book coverBook coverBook coverNational Geographic.
This magazine has a long and proud history of providing armchair travellers with glimpses of far-off countries and strange animals. The library has copies of the National Geographic dating back to 1914. These photographs are of a Palestinian bride (1914), a spectacular South American waterfall (1933) and an even more spectacular camel (1958).

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