Historical newspapers

Historical newspapers offer a fascinating look at our history and are an invaluable source for historians and people researching their family history and geneaology. This page offers an introduction to historical newspaper collections available at your library. See our newspapers guide for information on contemporary newspaper titles.

Viewing and searching historical newspapers

Due to the fragile nature of the paper it is generally not possible to handle the actual newspapers. Libraries around the world have been microfilming – and more recently digitising – newspapers from their archives and making them available on the web or through online subscription databases.

Finding information on a topic in a historical newspaper that has not been digitised can be difficult. Newspaper indexes can help here, although not all content will have been indexed.

Historical newspapers online

Access digitised historical newspaper collections online at a library or enter your library card and password / PIN. These digital collections mainly focus on Britain and the U.S.

New Zealand historical newspapers online

Papers Past is a collection of digitised newspapers and periodicals covering the years 1839 to 1971 from across New Zealand. Choose 'Canterbury' as the region to see local papers.

Newspapers on microfilm

Microfilm is a way to preserve newspapers for future researchers — we provide microfilm readers on Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga. You are able to print from any microfilm using our equipment.

  • Microfilm of The Press is from the start date of the newspaper and is received currently.
  • Microfilm of the Sunday Star Times is received currently.
  • Microfilm of The Star is complete, and our holdings are all available on microfilm.
  • Overall year dates are listed for most titles i.e. not month and day as well.
  • Microfilm holdings may be of a partial run of a newspaper, not the complete run. Runs may lack some issues.

Newspapers from around New Zealand which we do not hold but have been microfilmed can be interloaned. These newspapers are listed in the National Library publication New Zealand newspapers on microfilm.

Christchurch newspapers

The library has local newspapers from the first Lyttelton Times, through to the present day. Most of these newspapers are available on microfilm. Access these newspapers on Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga.

More newspapers information

Print this page