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Complete online record of 150 years of discovery

09 November 2017: All Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand now online


Royal Society Oldbooks

All copies of the Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand, one of New Zealand’s most important research publications, are now available online, thanks to a collaborative project between Royal Society Te Apārangi and the National Library of New Zealand.

The project has filled in the missing years between 1961 and 1970. 

The Transactions volumes from 1868 to 1961 are already hosted online by the National Library of New Zealand’s Papers Past website; those from 1971 are hosted by Taylor & Francis, the academic publisher of the eight peer-reviewed journals produced today by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Royal Society Te Apārangi chief executive Dr Andrew Cleland FRSNZ says bridging the gap in the online archive is a very fitting milestone for 2017, the Society’s 150th anniversary year.

“When our organisation was set up as the New Zealand Institute in 1867, its primary objective was to publish the findings from the regional research societies around New Zealand. The Transactions and Proceedings were the formal outlet of the discoveries and discussions taking place around the country about the unique flora, fauna and geology of New Zealand as well as considering the origins of Māori and describing mātauranga Māori learned from tangata whenua.”

The Transactions continued to be an important outlet for research findings in New Zealand but print copies for the Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1961-1970 are not widely available in New Zealand libraries so were difficult to access.

“We are grateful to the National Library of New Zealand for making these publications much easier to access for scientists and researchers wishing to read them. We are sure this resource will be used more extensively and be of interest to anybody who wishes to understand how the science of New Zealand evolved in the 1960s,” says Dr Cleland.

“It’s always a pleasure to work collaboratively on projects such as this. Making important knowledge such as this even more accessible through digitisation will give New Zealanders the opportunity to share and use this valuable resource to innovate and create new knowledge” says National Librarian, Bill Macnaught.

The Transactions between 1961 and 1970 were published in different sections: General, Botany, Geology and Zoology and then later General, Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences.

The Transactions ceased in 1971, succeeded by the new unified periodical the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, which is still published today.

View the latest digitised Transactions on the Papers Past website — each issue is available to download as a PDF in full colour.

Background

Royal Society Te Apārangi

Royal Society Te Apārangi is an independent not-for-profit organisation that supports all New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge. 

Its varied programmes provide funding and learning opportunities for researchers, teachers, school students, together with those who are simply curious about the world. 

To celebrate the discoveries of New Zealand researchers, the Society awards medals and elects Fellows, who are leaders in their fields.
These experts help the Society to provide independent advice to New Zealanders and the government on issues of public concern.

The Society has a broad network of members and friends around New Zealand and invites all those who value the work New Zealanders do in exploring, discovering and sharing knowledge to join with them. 

To discover more visit Royal Society

Papers Past

Papers Past is the National Library’s online collection of digitised historical newspapers, periodicals and documents. It now has 135 newspaper and 24 periodical titles available, from between 1839 and 1975. With over 5 million pages available to search for free, Papers Past is one of the leading research resources in New Zealand. 

For more information

Nancy de Bueger, Senior Communications and Digital Engagement Advisor, Royal Society Te Apārangi, 04 470 5807, nancy.debueger@royalsociety.org.nz