11 May 2008

Old New Zealand newspapers now available online

I have recently come across Papers Past from the National Library of New Zealand. It gives on-line access to scans of many provincial newspapers in the period up to 1915. Many are searchable.

Back in 1979 while at Otago University I did some historical research using old newspapers. It would have been so much easier, and less hit and miss, with this free resource.

Papers Past should be of great interest to history students and those researching their New Zealand ancestors.

I have already found the name of my great uncle, James Douglas, who in July 1903 as a young child fell through ice and drowned in the river at Waihao Downs (Otago Witness, 22 July 1903), as well as interviews with two of my great great grandfathers, John Douglas (Otago Witness, 22 February 1879) and William Mosley (Otago Witness, 4 May 1878), about their farming in Otago in the pioneering period of settlement.

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