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Helping save our local history

1 July 2013: Helping save our local history

The National Library is inviting groups from throughout New Zealand to apply to have their historic newspapers digitised and put online as part of the Library’s Papers Past project.

The Papers Past website contains nearly three million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals from between 1839 and 1945, from 80 separate newspaper titles.

“New Zealand is a small and young county by western standards, far away from a lot of other places,” says Papers Past manager Emerson Vandy. “So it seems that European settlers got busy making and reading newspapers – there have been over 1,600 titles produced since 1839. Not surprisingly, these have captured a fair slice of New Zealand’s history. We’d like help bringing more of these titles online, for New Zealand’s researchers and students of all ages and types.”

Digitisation Manager Sam Minchin added that: “We really want to connect people with the research material they most need, and we want to make sure that all types of groups have a fair opportunity to be involved.”

Last year, some 50,000 pages across a range of newspapers were put online as a result of the collaborative project. Successful applicants included Christchurch City Libraries, Palmerston North City Library, Hamilton City Libraries, Nelson Public Library, Hauraki District Libraries, and Upper Hutt City Libraries.

This year, the National Library will share the cost of digitising a further 80,000 pages and is inviting applicants to apply by the end of August, via the National Library of New Zealand website Newspapers can be digitised from either the original papers or microfilm copies.

The National Library sits within the Information and Knowledge Services Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Get in touch for more information. Allen Walley, Department of Internal Affairs, phone 04 495 9351 or 027 384 3009; or Greig Roulston, National Library, phone 04 462 3919.