The Maritime Museum, Port Chalmers holds a variety of archives relating to the social history of Port Chalmers and its environs and the maritime history of Otago Harbour and Coast. Researchers and enquiries are welcome.  It may be best to call first so we can track down the information you require before you arrive.

Research fees may apply.





Port Chalmers Early People

Compiled by Ian Church, this archive is invaluable for those researching people from Port Chalmers and surrounding areas. Bound copies can also be found at The Hocken collections, Anzac Ave. Dunedin, and The New Zealand Society of Genealogists, Dunedin Branch library, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, 31 Queens Gardens, Dunedin. The electronic database located at the Port Chalmers Museum is updated regularly.

Photographic Database

A large collection covering the social and maritime history of the area. Over 5000 images currently digitally stored with another 10,000 to be downloaded. Ink jet reproductions are available. Significant collections: David Alexander De Maus, Otago Harbour Board.

Oral History Archives

A collection of over fifty oral histories from Port Chalmers identities. Abstracts and recordings are available at the museum.


A collection of stories from the early settlers of Port Chalmers.

Ships and Shipping

An index of ships that visited Port Chalmers. Early papers of Dunedin and Port Chalmers owned vessels.


A large collection of reference books relating to the area and maritime history. The Museum also houses the Otago Maritime Society Library.

Cemetery records

Cemetery records from the Old and New Cemeteries in Port Chalmers and Purakanui Cemetery. Also some funeral records.

School Records

Attendance records for Port Chalmers and Sawyers Bay Schools. Also some Lower Harbour School records.

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