Papers Past

Thanks to the digital age — and the expiration of copyright – we are able to bring you articles from newspapers published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Papers Past contains more than one million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 61 publications from all regions of New Zealand.

The Southern Cross was started as a weekly paper in Auckland in 1843 by prominent businessman and aspiring politician, William Brown. It was one of the two early newspapers in Auckland that ran for any length of time, the other being its main rival, the New Zealander.



The New Zealand Observer was one of a number of illustrated weekly newspapers that were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Observer was probably not as popular or as well known as some of the other weeklies, e.g. the Weekly News, New Zealand Free Lance and the Otago Witness.














The first issue of the Wellington Independent was published on 2 April 1845. For a time it was considered one of the best newspapers in New Zealand and it had considerable influence. However, it failed to grow in the 1860s and early 1870s and, despite changing from bi-weekly to tri-weekly publication, was replaced by the New Zealand Times in 1874.


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