Historical Studies Group

The Historical Studies Group aims to document the history of earth science in New Zealand and record the reminiscences of older geologists.

Our main activity is the production of the Journal of the Historical Studies Group, generally two or three times a year.  All issues up to the end of 2019 were printed as booklets. These have now been digitised, and are freely available as part of the National Heritage Digital Archive, hosted by the National Library, see below.

From the beginning of 2020 the journal will be produced online. The editor, Rodney Grapes, is always keen to receive manuscripts.

A number of biographies and larger publications on historical topics have been published as parts of the GSNZ Miscellaneous Publication series.

The GSNZ Secretary serves as the Society's archivist, and maintains the records of the society, now going back over 40 years.  Any members who may be disposing of material related to the Society, or who have queries about the history of the Society are invited to get in touch.

A history of the first 50 year of the Society: Geological Society of New Zealand - 1955-2005 Our First 50 Years, by Bruce Hayward is available as a download.


Copies of the Journal of the Historical Studies Group have been included in the National Heritage Digital Archive, hosted by the National Library

Issues 74-82 (June 2023-June 2024)

Issues 35-73 (March 2008-March 2023)

Issues 1-34 (September 1990-September 2007)

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Joan Wiffen ( probably New Zealand's best known fossil collector) holding up the humerus of a plesiosaur, Elasmosaurus keyesi. She named it after Ian Keyes, a curator at the New Zealand Geological Survey who provided technical assistance in her early work.