National Library of New Zealand Project to Digitize 130 Years of The Press Archives #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen


The Press Archives up to 1995 will be digitized and made freely available for searching online under a landmark agreement with the National Library of New Zealand. The library’s Papers Past website already publishes editions of The Press from 1861 to 1945 which can be searched by words, phrases and dates. They are part of a substantial catalogue of 167 historic newspapers dating from 1839 to 1950, plus magazines, letters and Parliamentary papers.


Digitization of The Press up to 1995 would make newspaper coverage of national and international events post World War II readily accessible to the public. Topics from the Cold War through the cultural changes of the 1950’s and 60’s, the revival of te reo and te ao Māori in through to the Springbok tours and more would be searchable online.


The Papers Past site had about 30 million page views a year from about two million visitors. Genealogists make up the largest single group of users.  The website is:


A study in 2012-13 presented to the International Federation of Library Associations found Papers Past was the world’s third most discoverable historic news resource online, after Google News and the New York Times.


The Press editions from 1946 to 1961 would be digitized by late November, with the editions up to 1995 made available to the public in batches by the end of 2023.


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



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