Welcome to Papers Past

Papers Past contains more than four million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1948 and includes 132 publications from all regions of New Zealand.

There are two main ways to find information in Papers Past: searching and browsing. Searching lets you enter a query term and retrieves articles that contain that term. Browsing lets you look at all the newspapers, starting with a year, a region, or a newspaper title. All the newspaper titles on the site can be searched and browsed.

Getting started

The Getting started page gives an overview of how to use Papers Past.

Go to the Getting started page

How to find out more about our newspaper collection

The newspapers on Papers Past are only a small proportion of New Zealand newspapers. If you cannot find what you are looking for online, it may be available as a paper copy or microfilm. Check the National Newspaper Collection page on the National Library website for more information.

National Newspaper Collection — National Library website

How to find out more about a newspaper

Each newspaper on Papers Past has its own page containing information about the publication, including the date range which is available online and a link to an essay about the newspaper's history. You can find links to all the newspapers on the Browse by title page.

Go to the Browse by title page

Maori newspapers

In 2015 the National Library added a collection of historic newspapers published primarily for a Māori audience between 1842 and 1935. This is based on the digital Niupepa Collection developed and made available in 2000 by the New Zealand Digital Library Project, at the Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato. The source material for this digital collection is ‘Niupepa 1842-1933’, a collection of newspapers published in Māori or for a Māori readership, filmed by the Alexander Turnbull Library (1988) and made available on microfiche (1996).

There were three main types of Māori newspapers published; government sponsored, Māori initiated, and religious. Further information about the newspapers can be found in Rere Atu Taku Manu! Discovering History, Language & Politics in the Māori Language Newspapers, edited by Jennifer Curnow, Ngapare Hopa, and Jane McRae (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002).

Titles currently available:

The digital Niupepa Collection is available on the New Zealand Digital Library website.

Māori Niupepa Collection — New Zealand Digital Library website

How we select new titles

National Library curators select new newspaper titles for Papers Past based on a number of factors, such as national and regional significance, the availability of paper or microfilm copies of the newspaper, and ensuring a good range of regions and dates. We do not provide recent material because of copyright restrictions.

To find out about our newspaper digitisation programme, visit the Papers Past page on the National Library website.

Papers Past - National Library website

What's new

In September 2015 we added:

In December 2015 we added:

In March 2016 we added:


The National Library would like to thank all those organisations that provided the original paper copies to the Alexander Turnbull Library for microfilming.