Jim Gardner was formerly Reader in History at the University of Canterbury, and was first President of the New Zealand Historical Association.
For his service to New Zealand History, he was awarded an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
He was for many years a member of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and also served on the Trust Board.
Gardner's special field was in 19th century New Zealand social history, with emphasis on regional and local developments. He published or edited in a number of other fields, including university history, biography and family accounts.
Jim died in Christchurch on 14 July 2012.
Prelude to Arbitration in Three Movements: Ulster, South Australia, New Zealand 1890–1894 (self-published, 2009)
Where They Lived, Studies in Social, Regional and Local History (Regional Press, 1999)
A Pastoral Kingdom Divided, Cheviot 1889–1894 (Bridget Williams Books, 1992)
Colonial Cap and Gown (University of Canterbury, 1979)
The Amuri, A County History (Amuri County Council, 1956 and 1983)