Newspaper indexes

Indexes are useful to locate information on articles and newspapers that may not be searchable online. This page is a guide to newspaper indexes available at your library, and gives information on how to use microfiche indexes.

Online indexes are available for information published from about 1990 onwards. For earlier material, there is a series of microfiche and card indexes.

Online indexes

An online index to The Press from 1 January 1995 to 31 December 2022, and to The Star from 14 October 1998. The index focuses on news from the North Canterbury region from Cheviot to Ashburton and is updated regularly. It is keyword searchable and includes thousands of names of local people, organisations and places.

Te Puna - INNZ
An index to New Zealand newspapers and periodicals compiled by the National Library of New Zealand. A number of newspapers are indexed, including the Press. Particularly useful for non-Canterbury material which is not indexed in the Papers database.'

Card indexes

Indexes are held in card form on Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga for the following newspapers:

  • The Star: features only from 1976 - 1984
  • Canterbury Times: a selective index from 1890 - 1904
  • Canterbury Times: illustrations only 1900 January to August and from 1901 to 1917
  • Illustrated Press: illustrations only from 1868 - 1874
  • Weekly Press: illustrations only from 1900 - 1928 (in 2 sequences)

Microfiche indexes

Microfiche indexes are held in card form on Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga.

Our microfiche indexes cover the Lyttelton Times, 1851-1861, 1881-1889, 1910-1911 and 1932-1935, and The Press for all the remaining years between 1861 and 1994. For the period 1851-1953 there are a series of two- to five-year indexes. For the period 1954-1994 there is a single index.

The emphasis is on local interest stories. Entries are by subject. Subject headings are very broad and there are few personal name entries.

Using the microfiche indexes

Start with a subject. If that subject has been given a heading, there will be a series of cards all containing references to newspaper items on that subject. Sometimes an alternative heading is needed. For instance, The Square has no entries, but under Cathedral Square there are plenty. These references are arranged in chronological order. This is an example of an index entry:

objection to "bible-thumping" in Cathedral Square (letter)
23.9.75. p16

A brief indication of the content of the item is given first. This is followed by an indication of the item type, if it is significant. In this case it is a letter to the editor. Also noted are such things as an editorial or a feature article or that it contains illustrations. Next comes the date of the paper, in this case the twenty-third of September, 1975 and lastly the page number.

Further hints for using the indexes

  • There is a separate sequence of indexes of obituaries.
  • At the beginning of each of the pre-1954 indexes is a list of the subject terms used in that index.
  • Names commencing with the word Canterbury or Christchurch may be filed under the next word in the phrase, e.g. Christchurch City Council is filed under City Council.
  • If the index does not include the subject of enquiry, for example international news, establish the date of the event from another source so you do not have to search through months of the newspaper.
  • Ask the staff for guidance and information about index coverage, possible terms or the suitability of newspapers as a source for the information you are seeking; a more appropriate source may exist.

Newspaper Archives and Indexes

  • eResource Discovery Search (eDS)
    Access to thousands of full text general magazines and newspapers from Masterfile Premier, Australia/NZ Reference Centre and more.
  • FindNZarticles
    Index to magazines newspapers and journals. Includes records from the Papers index - Christchurch City Libraries, Southern regional news index - Dunedin Public Libraries, Publications database - Landcare Research NZ Ltd and Index New Zealand - National Library of New Zealand, and other New Zealand Science indexes, and Te Ao Hou, Te Māori and Te Kaunihera Māori. Index only.
  • New Zealand Gazette Archive
    New Zealand Gazette Archive comprises searchable and browsable PDF (portable document format) copies of issues of the New Zealand Gazette and related publications from 1841. Published by LexisNexis.
  • Papers Past
    Papers Past contains more than one million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1932 and includes publications from all regions of New Zealand. 42 titles have page images browsable by date with 17 having titles searchable full text. Provided by the National Library of New Zealand.
  • Hamilton newspaper index
    The newspaper index indexes selected articles from Hamilton Press and Waikato Business News from 1999 onwards. Please note that not all years have yet been indexed.
  • Index Auckland: local history, arts and music
    A rich resource of history, art, theatre, film and music references sourced from Auckland area newspapers and journal articles. Index only.
  • INZART: Index to New Zealand Art
    Included in Index New Zealand (INNZ) INZART indexes articles which provide information on New Zealand artists, art galleries or museums, exhibitions or art events. Articles about international artists may be included when they are exhibiting in a New Zealand gallery or collaborating with a New Zealand artist, or work by an international artist forms an important part of a New Zealand art collection. Details of images and illustrations are also included. The database also indexes art related material published in New Zealand newspapers and New Zealand content in international art journals. From the University of Auckland Fine Arts Library and included in New Zealand Index.
  • Niupepa
    A selection of "periodicals published in Māori or for Māori readership" from 1842 to 1932. Can be searched by keyword or browsed by date or the name of the periodical.
  • Te Ao Hou
    This website lets you search and browse all 76 issues of the magazine Te Ao Hou The New World. Te Ao Hou was published from 1952 to 1976 by the Māori Affairs Department in New Zealand Aotearoa.
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