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

Papers
An online index to The Press from 1 January 1995 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.
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