Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarships 2024

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.

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. 

The Heritage Collections are held principally at the Central City Library. 

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

Image: A birds-eye-view map of Auckland. 1886. Drawn by George Treacy Stevens. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections Map 4641.

Image: Pasifika family, Parnell,1958. Photographed by Susanna Burton. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1213P-P035-05A.

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 publically, 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 communites 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: 'Nuclear Free Pacific.' Produced by Pacific Conference of Churches, Suva, Fiji. 1984. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections Eph-Post00031. 

Image: Medieval antiphonal manuscript containing liturgical chants, Italy. 16th Century. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections MedMS-S1588.


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. 

How to apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Claire Freeman, Team Leader Curatorial Services before submitting an application, to discuss their proposed research project. Emails should be sent to

The deadline for applications is 1 July 2024. Applicants should send the following documents to

Project proposal (1,000 words maximum OR a 5-minute video) including indication of collections to be researched, and proposed outputs and timeline.


A written reference, or name and contact details of someone who has agreed to be a referee. The referee is to give a qualitative assessment of the 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 13 July 2024.

About John Stacpoole

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.  

Image: John Stacpoole, 1958. Photographed by Clifton Firth. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 34-0408.