Sir Edmund Hillary (1919 - 2008)

Where can I find information about Sir Edmund Hillary?

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

Entry last updated: 13/01/21


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.


There are some great websites that have useful and reliable information about Sir Edmund Hillary. In these websites you will find information about Edmund Hillary's early life, his mountaineering achievements, including Mount Everest and his later expeditions.

Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa.

  • Search for your keywords 'Edmund Hillary' to find his biography under Hillary, Edmund Percival.
  • There is heaps of info here, covering Edmund Hillary's early life, his mountaineering career leading to Mount Everest, his expeditions in Antarctica and the South Pole and his later career.


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 Everest, the South Pole, Hillary's early years, and further resources if you need more information.
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 have 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.
  • Scroll 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 Archive

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 helpful feature articles about Edmund Hillary.

  • Search for the keywords 'Edmund Hillary' to find some great articles.
  • The best of these search results are the first two articles. The first is about Hillary's humanitarian legacy to the Sherpas of north-eastern Nepal, and the other is a tribute to Sir Edmond Hillary. You may also find other articles in this list useful.

Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre

This particular 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.
  • Find Sir Edmund Hillary Hero of Everest to read an interview with Hillary from 2003.
  • Look at 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 from the time and events captured on video can be valuable primary sources. First-person accounts are useful too, and they bring events to life. These sources are from overseas websites - when Hillary climbed Everest it was celebrated around the world.

The Guardian Newspaper

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

Academy of Achievement

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

  • Browse by 'achiever' or use the search bar at the bottom of the site to find their page about Edmund Hillary.
  • This is an interview with Sir Edmond Hillary where he 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.

Encyclopedia Britannica

This is the public website of a well-known encyclopedia, with information about lots of different topics.

  • Search for 'Edmund Hillary' to find their page called Sir Edmund Hillary - New Zealand explorer.
  • Down the bottom of the page there's a link to a historical film called Memorable Moments: The Conquering of Everest. This captures the 1953 expedition where Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay succeed in reaching the summit of Mount Everest.
  • Scroll through the rest of the slide show to see more pictures of the expedition.
Tips: This film is a primary source. Primary sources are things like diaries, letters, photos or videos that were created at the time when the events were happening. They can also be created by people who were eye-witnesses of what happened. Primary sources are very important for studying historical events.


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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