Historic newspapers are easier to find thanks to the digitalisation programme run by the National Library. Papers Past covers the years 1839 to 1920 and has 45 New Zealand newspapers currently available of which 24 are key word searchable. There are plans to make all the newspapers on the website searchable in the coming year. More papers will be added in the next 12 months, such as the NZ Truth from 1906 to 1930 (an excellent source of divorces). The highlight this year was the release of The Grey River Argus, the first newspaper on Papers Past to cover the entire First World War and a significant source of early labour history.
Historical British newspapers are also accessible in the Digital Library on the Auckland City Libraries website. Gale Thompson’s British Newspapers 1600-1900, Proquest’s The Guardian and the Observer 1791-2003 and, of course, the Times Digital Archive, are fully text searchable and include a wealth of information from historical news stories to marriage or death announcements.