This review article summarizes the last few decades of research on nickel hydroxide, an important material in physics and chemistry, that has many applications in engineering including, significantly, batteries. First, the structures of the two known polymorphs, denoted as α-Ni(OH)2 and β-Ni(OH)2, are described. The various types of disorder,which are frequently present in nickel hydroxide materials, are discussed including hydration, stacking fault disorder, mechanical stresses and the incorporation of ionic impurities. Several related materials are discussed, including intercalated α-derivatives and basic nickel salts. Next, a number of methods to prepare, or synthesize, nickel hydroxides are summarized, including chemical precipitation, electrochemical precipitation, sol - gel synthesis, chemical ageing, hydrothermal and solvothermal synthesis, electrochemical oxidation, microwaveassisted synthesis, and sonochemical methods. Finally, the known physical properties of the nickel hydroxides are reviewed, including their magnetic, vibrational, optical, electrical and mechanical properties. The last section in this paper is intended to serve as a summary of both the potentially useful properties of these materials and the methods for the identification and characterization of 'unknown' nickel hydroxide-based samples.