Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Using Papers Past
How do I print out an article?
One way to do this is to use your browser's print command to print out an article you have retrieved.
Another method is to download the PDF version of the page containing the article and open it in the Adobe Acrobat Reader program. Once you have done this, select the desired article by clicking on the camera icon or snapshot tool, and then use the mouse to drag a box around the region you want to print. Choose "Print" from the file menu, tell Acrobat to print the selected region only, and to scale it up using the "Fit to Paper" option.
How do I print out a page or a newspaper issue?
Download the page-level or issue-level PDF by clicking on the "Download a printable PDF" button, load the document in Acrobat Reader, and then click on the print button.
How do I re-size articles?
Download the page-level or issue-level PDF by clicking on the "Download a printable PDF" button, then you can use the zoom function in Adobe Acrobat to enlarge articles.
How do I save an article?
One method is to get the article on the screen and use the File menu in your browser to save the web page. (Note that if you right-click on the article image and try to save or copy it you may only get part of the article.)
Another method is to download the PDF version of the page containing the article and open it in the Adobe Acrobat Reader program, select the desired article by clicking on the camera icon or snapshot tool, and then copy the article into a word processor document and save it.
How do I save a page/newspaper issue?
Download the page-level or issue-level PDF by clicking on the "Download a printable PDF" button, load the document in Acrobat Reader, then click on the "Save a Copy" button.
How do I copy text from articles?
Click on the "View computer-generated text" button on the article page, then cut and paste the text into Word. You will then need to compare the text against the original article and correct any errors that have resulted from the automated optical character recognition process.
How do I move from one newspaper issue to the next?
Click on the green arrow to the top right of the issue page.
How do I move from one newspaper page to the next?
Click on the green arrow to the top right of the newspaper page.
About the Papers Past website
What's next for Papers Past?
As well as adding new titles to Papers Past every year, we also hope to do research into ways to improve the accuracy of the optical character recognition (OCR) process and into the editing of text.
Are you going to correct errors in the text?
The accuracy of text created from optical character recognition (OCR) will never be 100%, especially when you are working from historical newspapers that are often not in very good condition. With more than a million pages, it is not possible for us to correct all errors manually. However, we are interested in investigating how we can involve users in improving the OCR text.
Are you planning to add Māori newspapers to Papers Past?
A selection of Māori newspapers is already available online. The Māori Niupepa Collection is a collection of historic newspapers published primarily for a Māori audience between 1842 and 1932. Digitised copies of these newspapers are available on the New Zealand Digital Library website.
Are you planning to add the New Zealand Herald to Papers Past?
We are investigating options for working with other institutions to make the early years of the New Zealand Herald available through Papers Past.
Why does it take so long to download images of pages and articles?
The pages are scaled down before being sent over the internet to your browser. It takes quite a lot of CPU power to do this, which takes some time when the system is under a heavy load. As a result of this processing, however, a much smaller page is sent to your browser. This means that people on slow connections can download the (smaller) pages much faster then they used to.
What's the best way to link to Papers Past?
The official URL for Papers Past is:
The Māori language version of the homepage is:
What's the best way to link to a specific newspaper?
The URL for the "newspaper page" for the Bay of Plenty Times newspaper looks like this:
Note the acronym for BOPT is highlighted. To make a URL for any other newspaper, first find out its acronym, and replace BOPT. Here are some examples:
What's the best way to link to other pages in Papers Past?
Take the URL out of your browser, and remove the "e=" part from the end.
takes you to the Regions page, for example.