Sir Edmund Hillary (1919 - 2008)

Where can I find information about Sir Edmund Hillary?

Junior Secondary

(Years 7-10)

Photo from 1958 of Sir Edmund Hillary at Aotearoa NZ's base on Ross Island in Antarctica after he and 3 others won the race to the South Pole.

Image: Sir Edmund Hillary by [unknown]. Collection: South Canterbury Museum (modified from original).

Entry last updated: 11/01/23


Sir Edmund Hillary was a famous New Zealander who achieved many different things in his life. He is most well-known for climbing Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, in 1953.

General websites

Here are some great websites that have reliable information about Sir Edmund Hillary covering his early life, his mountaineering achievements, and his later expeditions.

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (DNZB)

DNZB is part of Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. It has over 3,000 biographies of New Zealanders who have ‘made their mark’ on this country.

  • Enter your keywords 'Edmund Hillary' to find his biography under Hillary, Edmund Percival.

  • There is lots of information here about his early life, mountaineering career leading to Mount Everest, expeditions in Antarctica and the South Pole, and his later career.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg Edmund Hillary. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.


This is another reliable New Zealand website with lots of information about New Zealand people and history.

  • Go to the People section and select H for 'Hillary'.

  • Find the page called Hillary, Edmund Percival.

  • This page brings together lots of different resources, including this in-depth article about Edmund Hillary.

  • There are five sections in the article, including information about Hillary's early years, his conquest of Mt Everest and his expedition to the South Pole.

  • Remember to explore Further information if you need to know more.

Tips: These two websites are great for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. They both belong to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

Christchurch City Libraries

Christchurch Libraries has put together a great page about Edmund Hillary including links to library resources, online resources, articles, and books written by Edmund Hillary himself.

  • Go to Explore then, under Subject Guides, select People.

  • Look down the page to find the letter H for 'Hillary'.

  • Choose the article Edmund Hillary 1919 - 2008.

Tips: Many webpages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. The searching method is called 'pearl growing' because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!


Articles from newspapers and magazines can be a great way to get more information about a topic.

New Zealand Geographic Online

This is one of the EPIC resources — a set of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. You may need a password from your school or local library to access it.

The New Zealand Geographic Archive has some feature articles about Edmund Hillary.

Australia New Zealand Reference Centre Plus

This particular EPIC database is a great resource for newspaper and magazine articles from New Zealand and Australia.

  • A search for 'Edmund Hillary' will bring up lots of results.

  • Remember to limit to Full Text articles from Refine Results.

  • Find Sir Edmund Hillary Hero of Everest to read an interview with Hillary from 2003.

  • Read the article called My Story, written by Hillary about his experience.

  • Change or limit your results by adding more keywords (like 'Everest') or choosing other subjects or result types from the options on the left.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Primary sources

Newspaper articles and videos from the time of the event, and first-person accounts are valuable primary sources that bring history back to life. The websites below have lots of examples from Sir Edmund Hillary's life.

The Guardian

This is a well-known newspaper in the United Kingdom that includes articles about events around the world. Articles and videos from its 'archives' show some famous events from history.

  • Select the Search option.

  • Under Find pages with... and all these words enter 'Edmund Hillary'.

  • This will bring up a list of Google results of Guardian articles and more.

  • Watch a black and white video called Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climb Everest.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.


DigitalNZ is a search site that focuses on New Zealand history and brings together results from lots of different websites like New Zealand libraries, museums, universities and government sites all at once, and has lots of primary sources.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

Academy of Achievement

This website is dedicated to remarkable people who have made an impact on the world.

  • Use the search feature at the top to find the page about Sir Edmund Hillary.

  • Go to the Interview tab to watch From Beekeeper to World Explorer where Sir Edmund Hillary talks about Mount Everest and mountain climbing. You can read, listen, or watch the interview.

Tips: Websites with .org in the address can have good information but you need to check how reliable it is. This website is run by a nonprofit foundation that seeks to inspire people around the world.


There have been many books written about Sir Edmond Hillary - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Some recommended titles are:

SCIS no: 1832449

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