The Alexander Turnbull National Library of New Zealand was founded in 1966 by the amalgamation of three state libraries and service divisions. It contains 300,000 volumes, not including material in certain special collections. Its Extension Division provides services to public and school libraries throughout the country, and the Library School offers courses for the training and certification of librarians. The two largest libraries are at the University of Auckland (1.6 million volumes) and the University of Canterbury at Christchurch (571,000). The largest public libraries are in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington.
Outstanding art galleries and museums are the Auckland City Art Gallery (European and New Zealand paintings); the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch (ornithology, anthropology, and history); the Dunedin Public Art Gallery (paintings, period furniture, and china); the Otago Museum, Dunedin (ethnography, classical antiquities, ceramics); and the National Museum, Wellington (botany, ethnology, history). The nation's largest collection of Maori and Polynesian artifacts is found in the War Memorial Museum in Auckland. The Auckland Museum, founded in 1852, also has a fine collection of Maori artifacts. There is also a Museum of Puppets in Auckland and a Melanesian Mission House highlighting the Christian conversion of the indigenous peoples. There are hundreds of other historical and anthropological museums and sites throughout the country.