170th anniversary of Nelson Public Libraries

2012 marks the 170th year of  continuous operation of Nelson Public Libraries 170th. The first library building in Nelson opened on 27 September 1842.

On 17 May 1841 a meeting chaired by Captain Arthur Wakefield was held aboard the New Zealand Company immigrant ship Whitby as it journeyed to Nelson. At this meeting the Nelson Literary & Scientific Institute was formed, which included the establishment of a library. 

Ref: AWNS-19121205-16-3, Sir George Grey Special Collections
With an initial collection of 700 books donated by the passengers, and money sent to England for more books, journals and periodicals, a new library and reading room was built and operational within months of the settlers’ arrival in Nelson in 1842. Find out more.