The identities of four mystery women featured in photographs found tucked in a box of books collected by the Zonta Clubs of Whangarei and Hatea-Whangarei have been revealed.

The photos were in a box of books donated to Zonta for their huge annual book sale in Whangarei, but by the time the photos were discovered there was no trace of where the box had come from.

Three of the photo frames hold images of individual women of different generations and the fourth is of a girl.

Anne Richards, from Zonta, said after the article with the photos appeared in the Northern Advocate on Tuesday, they were quickly identified.

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"The photos belonged to Patricia Wilson and while a family member was clearing out some books to give to us they were inadvertently put in a box.

"Patricia is just thrilled to bits to get them back," Ms Richards said.

One of the photos is of Mrs Wilson's great-grandmother, one is of her daughter, one of her granddaughter and the fourth of her daughter-in-law.

"We know just how precious old photographs are to people so that's why we asked if anybody could help identify them. It's wonderful to be able to get them back to their rightful owner."

This year's Zonta Great New Zealand Book Sale is on July 30 and 31 at Forum North, Whangarei.