Digitised newspaper archives are The Best. They make history and bygone society easily accessible to us, and are generally much less temperamental than microfilm readers. While PapersPast (NZ) and Trove (Australia) are free, here at Christchurch City Libraries we subscribe to a whole bunch of other newspaper archives for you.
Recently we have subscribed to the British Newspaper Archives and it is BRILLIANT (although if the Market Rasen Mail for the 1980s ever gets added there will be embarrassing images of me in my Brownie uniform). Now, you can only use it in one of our libraries, but it is well worth the trip. The archive contains newspapers from around 1703 to 2003, is adding content regularly, and is a mine of information on a huge number of topics.
If you have family that originate from the UK, there may well be articles, obituaries and family notices that relate to them.
Another great great grandfather went bankrupt. Poor man - he must have been exhausted doing all those jobs!
World and New Zealand History
Want to know how the War of the Spanish Succession was going in 1714? The Stamford Mercury will keep you up to date! (Read the letter 'f' as 's' to avoid confusion)
And lots of information and news about New Zealand was making its way back to the UK.
Plus this poor parrot, which I presume was a kea.
Information about emigration
Want to find out about emigrating to New Zealand in the 1870s? It's all here. How many people got inspired by these notices?
Newspapers show - perhaps better than any other source - just how much society has evolved over the decades. For example, the conspicuous display of wealth demonstrated in this list of gifts to the bride at a fancy society wedding in 1909.
Just over 20 years later a different type of display was being made, at newly built war memorials around the world, such as this report of floral tributes from Crowborough in Sussex.
There's also just plain daft stuff, such as a slightly worrying obsession with giant youths....
If this has piqued your interest, we have just the event for you!
Coming up on Tuesday 26 September at Tūranga from 10am - 12 noon we have Spotlight on: Read all about it, where our Family History Librarians will be guiding you through using the British Newspaper Archive, Trove and Papers Past as well as our own newspaper collection.
What will you find?