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Library lock in: spend the night on your family tree

Media release

22 August 2014

Library lock in: spend the night on your family tree

Spend the night ‘locked in’ the Central City Library tracking your family history or whakapapa at the annual Karen Kalopulu Family History Lock In.

Auckland Libraries family historian Seonaid Lewis says this unique 12-hour overnight research session sees participants delving into their past using the wide range of resources at the Central Auckland Research Centre.

“The lock in is for anyone interested in exploring their family’s past – anyone can attend and there are still a few spaces available.

“For people just starting out I recommend the pre-lock in guided tour of the research centre, followed by the seminar about how to start researching. This is full of handy hints about setting things up right from the outset,” she says.

Ms Lewis is quick to point out the lock in is more than just enjoying a night of unlimited research.

“In previous years families have come along for the night and each family member has explored a branch of their family tree.

“It’s a nice way of families getting together and it’s rewarding when people find family connections they didn’t know they had.

“One year we helped a young man trace his family back to the United Kingdom, to a long line of butchers. It was really interesting to build a picture of the family fortunes, indicated by the addresses of the shops,” said Ms Lewis.

Those who have participated in the lock in before will find new databases and services to assist their searches, including new resources covering the First World War period and increased information on ‘Find My Past’ and ‘’. The library’s upgraded Wi-Fi network makes searching faster too.

The lock in was started 10 years ago by family history librarian Karen Kalopulu, who passed away suddenly in 2009. The event was renamed the ‘Karen Kalopulu Family History Lock In’ in 2010 to recognise Karen’s great contribution to family history within libraries. The event is run in partnership with the New Zealand Society of Genealogists.

Snacks and beverages will be provided throughout the night, with pizza served at midnight.

The 10th annual Karen Kalopulu Family History Lock In

•Friday 29 August, 8pm to Saturday 30 August, 8am

•Central Auckland Research Centre, Central City Library, Level 2

•$60 for Auckland Libraries members and NZ Society of Genealogists members, $70 for non-members

•Bookings essential, book online at or phone 09 307 7771 for more information.


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