Papers Past guide

Screenshot showing Papers Past homepage.
Papers Past has a wealth of digitised historical New Zealand content that can be used for a variety of teaching and learning activities. The content includes newspapers, magazines, journals, letters, diaries and parliamentary papers.
  • About Papers Past

    The Papers Past website is a goldmine of historical information, with more than 4 million pages of digitised historical content from all over New Zealand. The content is divided into 4 sections — all containing digitised primary source materials.

    Newspapers — digitised NZ and Pacific newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries, including are early te reo Māori newspapers. Each newspaper has its own page containing information about the publication and its availability online.

    Magazines and journals — magazines and journals published in New Zealand from 1861 to 1975, including information about the region, dates published, alternative titles and digitised issues for each magazine or journal.

    Letters and diaries — a range of personal and official letters written between 1839 and 1876, including:

    • inward letters in English and Māori
    • letter books, outward letters — drafts and fragments
    • diaries and notebooks
    • telegrams
    • official papers
    • inward family letters.

    Parliamentary papers — comprise 3 volumes of the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives (1854-1856) and the appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHR), a collection of government-related reports published every year from 1858 to 1950.

  • About Papers Past

    The Papers Past website is a goldmine of historical information, with more than 4 million pages of digitised historical content from all over New Zealand. The content is divided into 4 sections — all containing digitised primary source materials.

    Newspapers — digitised NZ and Pacific newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries, including are early te reo Māori newspapers. Each newspaper has its own page containing information about the publication and its availability online.

    Magazines and journals — magazines and journals published in New Zealand from 1861 to 1975, including information about the region, dates published, alternative titles and digitised issues for each magazine or journal.

    Letters and diaries — a range of personal and official letters written between 1839 and 1876, including:

    • inward letters in English and Māori
    • letter books, outward letters — drafts and fragments
    • diaries and notebooks
    • telegrams
    • official papers
    • inward family letters.

    Parliamentary papers — comprise 3 volumes of the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives (1854-1856) and the appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHR), a collection of government-related reports published every year from 1858 to 1950.

  • Using Papers Past

    The range of historic primary resources available on Papers Past is invaluable. They can be used for a variety of teaching and learning activities. They also offer unique resources to inform inquiry-based learning focused on New Zealand’s shared history.

    Supporting inquiry learning

    Papers Past has a range of search functions that make it easy to find content.

    • Newspapers can be explored by title, region and date.
    • Newspaper articles can be searched by keyword, date, title and the type of content:
      • article
      • advertisement, or
      • illustration.
    • Magazines and journals can be explored by title and date.
    • Magazine articles can be searched by keyword, date, title and the type of content:
      • article
      • advertisement, or
      • illustration.
    • Letters and diaries can be searched by keyword, date, place, person, series, and iwi or hapu.
    • Parliamentary papers can be explored by parliamentary session, date or volume.
    • Parliamentary articles can be searched by keyword, date, parliamentary session or section.
  • Using Papers Past

    The range of historic primary resources available on Papers Past is invaluable. They can be used for a variety of teaching and learning activities. They also offer unique resources to inform inquiry-based learning focused on New Zealand’s shared history.

    Supporting inquiry learning

    Papers Past has a range of search functions that make it easy to find content.

    • Newspapers can be explored by title, region and date.
    • Newspaper articles can be searched by keyword, date, title and the type of content:
      • article
      • advertisement, or
      • illustration.
    • Magazines and journals can be explored by title and date.
    • Magazine articles can be searched by keyword, date, title and the type of content:
      • article
      • advertisement, or
      • illustration.
    • Letters and diaries can be searched by keyword, date, place, person, series, and iwi or hapu.
    • Parliamentary papers can be explored by parliamentary session, date or volume.
    • Parliamentary articles can be searched by keyword, date, parliamentary session or section.
  • Responsible use — copyright and attribution

    When you use any of the digital resources included in Papers Past, be aware of their copyright requirements and usage restrictions. These are usually made clear on each site.

    If you use resources from Papers Past, it's important that you acknowledge or attribute them in your work. Check if your school has guidelines for responsible use of other people's work.

    If you're unsure about how to use these digital resources responsibly, ask your librarian or refer to:

    Copyright guidelines for schools — as set out by the Ministry of Education

    Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand — a non-profit organisation that helps people share their copyright works for re-use by others. They provide information about how to share, remix, re-use — legally.

    National Library copyright and privacy — statements on the use of National Library web content and information

  • Responsible use — copyright and attribution

    When you use any of the digital resources included in Papers Past, be aware of their copyright requirements and usage restrictions. These are usually made clear on each site.

    If you use resources from Papers Past, it's important that you acknowledge or attribute them in your work. Check if your school has guidelines for responsible use of other people's work.

    If you're unsure about how to use these digital resources responsibly, ask your librarian or refer to:

    Copyright guidelines for schools — as set out by the Ministry of Education

    Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand — a non-profit organisation that helps people share their copyright works for re-use by others. They provide information about how to share, remix, re-use — legally.

    National Library copyright and privacy — statements on the use of National Library web content and information