Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarship

Applications for the Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarship are now open for 2023/2024.

Image: 'Nuclear Free Pacific - Year of Decision'. Produced by Tin Drum Posters, Auckland. Artwork 'Colonial Landscape' by Sally Griffin. 1988. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections Eph-Post00036.

The Auckland Library Heritage Trust is a charitable trust that supports Auckland Libraries and Auckland Council to preserve, care for, add to, and promote Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections for the benefit of the people of Auckland. This scholarship is offered by the Auckland Library Heritage Trust to assist with research and the promotion of material held in Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections. 

Image: John A Lee, Scrapbook. 1960s/1970s. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections.

Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections is one of New Zealand's key research destinations. It was originally established when Sir George Grey, a 19th-century Governor of New Zealand and later Premier, gifted his significant collection to the city of Auckland in the 1880s and has continued to grow since this time.

The collections include photographs, maps, oral histories, manuscripts and archives, rare books and medieval manuscripts, ephemera and music; as well as Māori and Pacific heritage collections in all formats. 

Image: Charles Peet Dawes. Photographer's tent. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1572-1220.

The collections are held principally at Special Collections at the Central City Library, and also at three regional research centres: Research North, Research South, and Research West.

Image: Chart of the entrance to Kaipara Harbour, drawn by Captain Thomas Wing, January, 1836. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, Map 4613.

Online access is provided through our collections website Kura Heritage Collections Online, the Auckland Libraries Catalogue, Digital NZ and Soundcloud.

Audio: 'Elizabeth McRae - His Majesty's demolished'. Part of the Curtain Up! Exhibition playlist. Selected from: Elizabeth McRae, oral history, 2005. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, OH-1341-006.

Image: The Harpsichord master. Printed for and sold by I. Walsh, 1697. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, b1980810.

About the scholarships

The Auckland Library Heritage Trust administers four John Stacpoole Scholarships annually. Three of the four scholarships are summer scholarships under the management and supervision of the Auckland History Initiative, University of Auckland. 

The fourth scholarship is offered publicly, to researchers, practitioners and professionals who have a particular interest in items in Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections.

In funding the scholarships, the Trust seeks to:

Promote public engagement with Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, as a collection of national importance.

Encourage scholarly research using material held in the collections, as a means of increasing knowledge of the history and culture of all communities who have contributed to the settlement of Auckland.

Raise the profile of the Auckland Library Heritage Trust, as a means of attracting donations of books and other records of historical significance to the existing collection, and to provide funds for their purchase.

Image: Illustration of Noah's Ark. From: The Golden Legend. 1483. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections


The scholarship is open to overseas applicants as well as New Zealand citizens.

The Auckland Library Heritage Trust will consider applications according to the following criteria: 

How the proposed project engages with the public and/or has the potential to increase knowledge of or access to the collections.

The research-readiness of chosen collections, and how much staff time will be needed to assist with access to them. 

Provision and outputs

The recipient of an Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarship will receive: 

A grant of $6,750.

Supervised access to the collections.

Access to staff with specialist knowledge of the collection(s) in question when available.

The recipient will be required to provide, as a minimum: 

A blog post of at least 500 words on the Heritage et AL blog and a podcast interview for our Kura Tūturu | Real Gold – Taonga from Heritage Collections series. 

An agreed piece of work that will increase knowledge of or access to collections, such as a piece of academic writing, an index or inventory, or curatorial work towards an exhibition. 

A public output such as a talk or an additional podcast.

Acknowledgement of the “Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarship” in any resulting publications or events.

Image: Rykenberg Photography. Ricky May at the Colony Club, Nelson Street, 1961. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, 1269-E0164-11.

How to apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Renee Orr, Senior Librarian Heritage Engagement before submitting an application, to discuss their proposed research project. Emails should be sent to

The deadline for applications is 19 June 2023. Applicants should complete the online application form here, and send the following documents to

Project proposal (1,000 words maximum, OR a 5-minute video)


A written reference, or name and contact details of someone who has agreed to be a referee. Referee to give a qualitative assessment of candidate’s ability and capacity to deliver a project of this kind. 

Applications will be shortlisted by a panel composed of Library staff, with the final decision made by the Trustees.

Notification of the award will be made by 1 July 2023.

About John Stacpoole

Image: Cabaret Candid Photography. Street photograph of (from left to right) unidentified, John Stacpoole, Gerda Porsolt, Imi Porsolt, Betty Cutter and Zena Andrae outside Maison Chic in Ponsonby? 1950s. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, 1659-038

John Massy Stacpoole OBE (30 September 1919 – 5 September 2018) was a New Zealand heritage architect, historian and bibliophile who was responsible for the preservation and restoration of many historic buildings in Auckland and Northland.

Born 30 September 1919 in Auckland to Percy and Olive Stacpoole, John attended Mt Albert Grammar and went on to obtain a degree in architecture from Auckland University. After gaining experience in Auckland and London, he was employed at the architectural division of the Ministry of Works. It was in this role that he was instrumental in preserving historic buildings and sites including Highwic House, Alberton, Methodist Mission House and Mansion House, Kawau Island. In 1975 he was awarded an OBE recognising his contributions to this field. 

He was a generous donor to many institutions in Auckland as well as a member of many trusts and committees including the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. He was Chairman of Auckland Art Gallery’s Mackelvie Trust for over 20 years and a foundation member of the Auckland Library Heritage Trust. He also wrote books and articles on New Zealand architecture, architects and historic buildings and was an avid book collector.

In recent years he gifted his world-class book collections of Irish history, literature and the works of novelist Anthony Powell to Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections. These donations included rare first editions by Irish writers W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Iris Murdoch.

The scholarships were named the 'Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarships' in recognition of John Stacpoole’s significant contributions through years of service on the Trust, donations to the collections and a generous bequest.