a website for all New Zealand cataloguers

Scope of the New Zealand National Bibliography


The New Zealand National Bibliography (NZNB) is a list of publications from or about New Zealand. It provides a record of New Zealand’s publishing activities and is a reflection of the social, cultural and scientific endeavours of this country.

Scope of the NZNB

In common with most other national bibliographies, the NZNB does not include every item that is published in, or that relates to, this country.

The following material is selected for inclusion in the NZNB:

  • Books, pamphlets, serials, non-book [1] and electronic materials published [2] in New Zealand [2a]

  • Items as listed above, but published outside New Zealand and with one or more of the following characteristics:
    at least one fifth New Zealand content
    a New Zealand setting for fiction, film, videos or dvds
    a New Zealand contributor, e.g. an author, editor, illustrator or composer [3]

Out of scope for NZNB

The following material is excluded :

  • Unpublished material (e.g. theses)

  • Chapters from books, articles from journals

  • Ephemeral material – (e.g. calendars, slight publicity material, election leaflets)


Records describing items that are out of scope for NZNB are still included in the Library’s catalogue when such items are added to the Library’s collections.



[1] If a film is not published or set in NZ there must be a substantial NZ input into its creation for it to be in scope for NZNB. Substantial means more than one person named in the catalogue record, because they are significant to the film, is recognised as a New Zealander. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films are in scope because of the substantial NZ content in terms of script, editing, direction, special effects, on top of the impact of these films on NZ identity. The Last Samurai is out of scope for NZNB as it is essentially an overseas film that was made in New Zealand.

[2] Published is defined as all works available to the public, including works for limited distribution only. Videos and dvds where the distributor is the only New Zealand contribution are out of scope for NZNB.

[2a] Works with a New Zealand location as a second or later place of publication are not regarded as New Zealand publications.

[3] If there are up to 3 authors/editors and 1 is a New Zealander, then the work is in scope. If there are more than 3 authors/editors, the work is only in scope if the first named author/editor is a New Zealander.

Last updated: October 4, 2018 (JHS)