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Papers Past - New Zealand's free and online historical newspaper archive

Newspapers image - G Crescoli via

A key online resource for New Zealand family history research is Papers Past, a digital online archive for millions of pages New Zealand newspapers dating back to the 19th century.

The free website does not specify the earliest newspaper date in the archive, but it appears to be 1839. It also has a major section on Maori newspapers.

Although it is not yet possible to correct any OCR text errors, the National Library of New Zealand has created an uncluttered and easy to use website. Importantly, and unlike many other international digital newspaper sites, it is easy to locate what you are searching for in the image thanks to the relevant keywords being highlighted in bright yellow. Life would be much easier for genealogists if other newspaper archives adopted a similar approach.

In addition to newspapers, Papers Past has also digitized New Zealand magazines and journals, letters and diaries as well as Parliamentary Papers with the latter covering 1854-1950. It appears that each sub-collection needs to be searched separately as there is no enterprise search function across all databases.

The website provides very little information about what is actually in the collection and I was unable to find a listing of which publications have been digitised to date. Nevertheless this is an essential resource for anyone researching New Zealand family history.

Therese Lynch Your Family Genealogist

Picture : with thanks to Pixabay

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