News Release

Archives New Zealand and FamilySearch Volunteers Capture 1.7 Million Genealogical Images

Five-year Christchurch digitizing project means more family history files now available for public use

In 2011 Archives New Zealand and FamilySearch agreed to work together to digitally preserve 161,988 probate files held at Archives New Zealand's Christchurch regional office.  

According to FamilySearch manager for New Zealand and the South Pacific, Mike Higgins, “A tremendous cooperative working relationship was established between the two organizations and the mammoth undertaking of digitally capturing every page of every file began.”

“It is estimated that over 1.7m images were captured over the term of the project that was successfully completed on the last week of January 2016,” he said.

Read more about probate records at Christchurch City Libraries' website.

Mr Higgins added: “We are grateful for the trust that Archives New Zealand placed in us to help preserve these precious records.

"It was a huge undertaking but thanks to 10 Latter-day Saint volunteers and the dedicated team of professionals lead by Chris Adam [regional archivist and manager of Archives New Zealand] and his Christchurch team, along with community volunteers, these valuable records will be preserved indefinitely.  

“It also means that people from all around the world can enjoy free access to the records via the website.”

FamilySearch continues to work with Archives New Zealand in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin to digitally capture other probate records.

FamilySearch and are sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

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