Archive for April 2009

Guest post: New Zealand newspapers on microfilm

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Guest contributor: Frances Devaney

Can’t find a record of that ancestor? Have a gap in your family history? All avenues leading to a cul-de-sac? Have you tried our collection of newspapers on microfilm?
Newspapers are an important resource for family historians and researchers. They provide information that may pertain directly to your own ancestors but also document the social history of the period. As was highlighted in Kintalk, September 2008 Auckland Public Libraries provides access to important historic British newspapers through the digital library while for New Zealand the National Library’s Papers Past website has revolutionised access to late 18th and early 19th century newspapers.
However Auckland Research Centre has an extensive collection of New Zealand newspapers on microfilm many of which are not available through Papers Past. Although customers may be aware of some of the most obvious items in our collection for example the much loved and used New Zealand Herald from 1 May 1863, I want to highlight some of the lesser known titles.
If your ancestors are Roman Catholic or of Irish origin you may wish to have a look at the New Zealand Freeman’s Journal (1879-1887), a weekly Catholic journal published in Auckland. It carried general news items, family notices, news items from Ireland as well as advertisements and could help fill some of these gaps in your research.
For those with Yugoslavian ancestors we have on microfilm several issues of Napredek (Progress) written in the Croatian language and published irregularly in Auckland from December 1906 – June 1909. As well as publishing news from Yugoslavia and beyond,  it includes items like marriage notices, reports of weddings, advertisements etc providing a rich resource for family historians.
It may be possible to track ancestors linked to the Thames gold mines in the following titles. Our earliest Thames paper is the Times and Thames Miners Advocate, dated February 1869, followed by The Mail, March 1870. For each title we have only one volume on microfilm. These were followed by the Thames Guardian and Miners Record, published 1871-72 and the Advocate and Miners News published 1974-1899. Both titles published a range of content from business advertisements, local news and court reports to issues and events surrounding the mining industry and land ownership.
The Waitemata Post 1910-1914 continued by the Waitemata News 1914-1917 provides a glimpse of life on the North shore. Covering Devonport, Northcote and Birkenhead it provides a great source for North Shore news, issues and events including news from the Borough Councils, some personal notices, and even news of people entering and leaving the area.
This is a very brief selection from some of our lesser known items. So what are you waiting for? The centre is open Monday-Friday 9-8pm, and Saturday/Sunday 10-4pm. We have ten microfilm readers five with the capacity to either print, or scan and save an article as an electronic file, so remember to bring a memory stick with you. We look forward to seeing you there soon!