Research resources

The Presbyterian Church began in New Zealand in 1840. Since then it has moved from being a Church for Scottish settlers to an ethnically diverse Church very much at home in Aotearoa New Zealand. There are a number of sources of information about our Church, its history, and its thinkers, with some research papers accessible in the menu to the left.

The Presbyterian Research Centre

The Presbyterian Research Centre is the library and archive for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. All members of the Church may register and use its collections. Visit the new PRC website, the older Hewitson and Archives websites below remain active.

Hewitson Library

The Hewitson Library is located on the same site as Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, in Opoho, Dunedin. Tthe Library dates from 1876, following the appointment of William Salmond as first Professor of the newly established Theological Hall.

Today the Library supports staff and students of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, ministers, laity, and members of the wider Church, as well as the resident and non-resident members of Knox College, and staff and students of the University of Otago’s Department of Theology and Religion.

The Library runs a postal delivery service for those not in Dunedin, and assists with any enquiries regarding resources. Registered members also have access to the EBSCO Religion and Philosophy ejournal package.

Search the catalogue at
Email or phone +64 3 473 0771 for all enquiries. 


The documents held in the Presbyterian Archives in Dunedin are from the General Assembly, General Assembly committees, foreign missions, local and national Presbyterian women's and youth organisations, parishes and presbyteries in Otago and Southland, Knox College, and the personal papers of ministers and prominent Presbyterian laymen and women from throughout the country.

Older Archives website incl Ministers' Register

The Presbyterian Church archives holds a ministers' register and a large quantity of material pertinent to genealogical studies, particularly in relation to Otago and Southland. See the older Archives website here.

Email or phone +64 3 473 0777 for all enquiries regarding the collections.

Histories of the Presbyterian Church

Presbyterians in Aotearoa New Zealand, 1840-1990
ed. Dennis McEldowney
(Wellington: The Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, 1990)

The History of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, 1840-1940
by John Rawson Elder
(Christchurch: Presbyterian Bookroom, c1940)

History of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand
by Rev. John Dickson
(Dunedin: J. Wilkie, 1899)