Christchurch historical newspapers now online

Great news for historians, researchers, genealogists and students … or anyone interested in Canterbury (and New Zealand) history. Historic editions of the Lyttelton Times, from 1862 to 1866, and the Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, from 1921 to 1939, have been digitised and are now available on the  National Library’s Papers Past website after a collaborative project between the National Library of New Zealand and Christchurch City Libraries.

Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser

The Akaroa Mail’s first bi-weekly issue was published on July 21 1876. It was begun by the peripatetic ‘rag-planter’ Joseph Ivess who began nearly 30 newspapers in clusters of small towns around New Zealand for three decades from the early 1870s. Ivess sold the Akaroa Mail a year later and there were several owners before, in 1881, the paper was bought by Howard C Jacobson. The Jacobson family was to own and run the newspaper for 71 years.

The Lyttelton Times’ new premises [1904]

Lyttelton Times

Even before the arrival of the first colonists in Canterbury, they had highlighted the need for a newspaper: a “Prospectus of Newspaper to be established in the Canterbury Settlement” proposed the publication of a weekly newspaper to be called the Lyttelton Times.

National Library digitisation

The Lyttelton Times and the Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser were included in the latest release of digitised newspapers by the National Library. The other collaborative partners in this release are Horowhenua Library Trust, Whangarei Libraries, Hamilton City Libraries, Hutt City Libraries, Whakatane District Museum & Gallery, Westport Genealogy & History Group, and Palmerston North City Library. These institutions contributed towards the digitisation of:

•    Lyttelton Times (1862 – 1866)
•    Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser (1921 – 1939)
•    Horowhenua Chronicle (1910 – 1920)
•    Northern Advocate (1921 – 1925)
•    Waikato Times (1872 & 1887 – 1892)
•    Hutt News (1934 – 1945)
•    Bay of Plenty Beacon (1939 – 1945)
•    Westport Times (1875 – 1878)
•    Manawatu Standard (some pre 1900 & 1906 – 1910)
•    Manawatu Times (some pre 1900 & 1906 – 1908)

The digitised newspapers are accessible through the National Library’s Papers Past website.

Thanks for the information from The National Library Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa and Department of Internal Affairs – Te Tari Taiwhenua

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