The historians and whakapapa researchers among you may already be familiar with Papers Past, an impressive and still-growing online resource from the National library. This site makes digitised versions of Aotearoa newspapers, magazines and journals, letters and diaries, and parliamentary papers available online, for free.
The fascinating newspaper section (believe me, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit-hole of reading old articles and advertisements for hours!) contains a wide range of digitised New Zealand and Pacific newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries, including an important collection of newspapers/niupepa in Te Reo Māori (or in English for a Māori readership).
Many of these became available in 2015, when the National Library added a collection of historic newspapers. This latest online collection was based on the digital Niupepa Collection developed and made available in 2000 by the New Zealand Digital Library Project, at the Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato. The original source material for this was ‘Niupepa 1842-1933’, a collection of niupepa filmed by the Alexander Turnbull Library in the late 1980s and made available on microfiche in the 1990s.
There were three main types of Māori niupepa published over this period; government sponsored, Māori initiated, and religious. To see the current list of what’s available in this collection, take a look at the list on the Papers Past ‘about’ page.
Everything old is new again. Or so it would seem with lots of things getting a 21st century revival including sustainability, reducing food-waste, hand-made, and foraging wild foods (not that any of these things had ever really gone away).
So maybe now is the time to grab your aprons and revisit some recipes from the past.
Early last century The Press published a column with the delightful title Women’s Corner – where all matters for insertion were to be sent to the Lady Editor for consideration. While other pages of the newspaper were filled with stories of the War this column provided readers with news of weddings, who’s wearing what, who is visiting whom in the district, some news and anecdotes from overseas, and sometimes a recipe of the day.
And what recipes they are, a seemingly never ending array of pies, puddings, fritters and rissoles! Light on instruction – I think everyone just knew how to make pastry – the recipes offered us such delights as Orange Roly-Poly, Banana Pie, Rice and Meat Rissoles, and Russian Pie.
On the cooking radar around this time of year in 1917 were Baked cheese and potato cake, apple fritters, cheese pudding, Rabbit and Macaroni pie, date pudding and this recipe.
I’m not sure how easy it will be to source the ‘pollard’ – a byproduct of flour milling – or what else I could use it for since the only other pollard based recipe I came across was ‘Phosphorized Pollard for Poisoning Rabbits’ from the Bay of Plenty Times.
If you don’t find any of these 1917 recipes tempting you can find other culinary delights from New Zealand in our catalogue including Ladies, a plate.
Wednesday 11 November is Armistice Day, when we remember New Zealanders and others who served in the First World War and other conflicts since. 2015 is 97 years since the agreement that ended fighting in the First World War came into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
While Anzac Day has become the main memorial day in New Zealand and Australia, events still take place on Armistice Day. Using resources such as Papers Past we can find out more about how the day has been celebrated and then commemorated over time.
Never before in the history of the city has such intense enthusiasm been displayed as yesterday, when the news of the signing of the armistice with Germany was received. The people streamed into the town, leaving the suburbs all but deserted. Throughout, the tramwaymen stuck heroically to their tasks, this factor being a large one in the general success of the celebrations.
A year later the Press laments how long it took to move from an armistice to a final peace treaty:
Just as nobody imagined, when the war broke out, that it would last for over four years, so few people, on November 11th last year, supposed that the world would, after twelve months, be as far as it is from a return to normal conditions.
The digi-boffins at National Library of New Zealand have been hard at work adding even more great historical newspapers to their Papers Past resource, and just in time for Samoan Language Week they’ve made some historical Pasifika newspapers available.
The recently added Samoan material is from the following newspapers and years –
And visit First to Surf celebration at New Brighton this weekend, to commemorate 100 years since a display of surfing by Duke Kahanamoku in New Zealand.
The party then went to New Brighton, where an exhibition of surf-riding and swimming by Kahanamoku, in company with members of the New Brighton Surf Club, had been arranged. Unfortunately, the rollers were too short for a real exhibition of surf-riding. A long, strong roller, sweeping right into the beach, is required for this, but the rollers at New Brighton this morning were short, breaking too soon. However, Kahanamoku gave as good a display as was possible in the circumstances, and certainly taught members of the Surf Club something of the art of surf-riding. His position as he lay on the board was very graceful. Once he tried to stand upright on the board as he came shooting in, but the roller broke,as he did so and he capsized. One or two other similar efforts failed for the same reason. He showed a few of the other fancy touches of surf riding, manipulating the board in various ways as he rode it.
September 23rd marks the day that the Canterbury troopships, Athenic and Tahiti, left Lyttelton in 1914. There had been rumours of the leaving date for some time, but the actual date was not publicised, some said for security reasons, but it incensed others. Public farewells to Auckland and Wellington troops were reported in the papers, but for a writer to the Star, on September 25th:
What about the farewell to our own Canterbury boys ? There is a tremendous amount of dissatisfaction expressed on all sides at the treatment of the Canterbury Expeditionary Force. They were not even allowed to march through the streets that their mothers and fathers and those near and dear might get a farewell look. Into the train at Sockburn Camp and out again at Lvttelton (they might have been prisoners in a huge Black Maria from the treatment), their relatives not being allowed even on the wharf till the very last moment. As one mother remarked, “We were kept for hours, like cattle behind a barrier, and could not then call out a greeting to our dear ones, whom we had given to fight for our country.” Eventually as the ships were moving off, the barriers were removed, and helter skelter rushed the mothers and fathers of our boys to try and wave a last good-bye. What treatment is this? Is it befitting that those who have gone away, for God knows how long, should carry with them feelings of anger and disappointment? Surely an aching heart at leaving dear ones behind was enough without any addition. Of the feelings of those mothers and wives who so generously gave their boys I need say nothing. I know of several who came up by the express in hopes of seeing their only sons, but reached Lyttelton too late. The troopships had gone.
Men in the training camps were not told either. Cecil Malthus wrote on September 22nd,
I can hardly believe that the leave this afternoon was our last opportunity of seeing friends – surely we would have been explicitly told so if it was. Perhaps all we will get will be some short leave in Lyttelton, and in that case the difficulty will be to let you know
I did not get a word of farewell from any of my family: no doubt they disbelieved that we were going.
The Star (an evening paper) reported the troopships going, but the event was not mentioned in The Sun until the day following departure in a waspish editorial about the flouting of the Defence Department’s wishes by other, unnamed, local newspapers. The Press maintained silence but reported on the Prime Minister’s attendance at the Auckland farewell and the official farewell for the Wellington men, as well as New Zealand action in Samoa. After the many events and support in the local Christchurch and Canterbury district for the troops, the lack of an official farewell rankled.
Once on board the men sent letters home mentioning the farewell, and conditions on board. The following letter from a Peninsula mounted man is of interest:—
“We struck camp on Tuesday morning at 6.30 and rode through to Lyttelton via Sumner, the South Canterbury Mounted Regiment going with us. The infantry came down on Wednesday at 2.30. We spent half an hour on the Sumner beach, gave our horses a sand bath and a walk in the sea, then came on to Lyttelton. We embarked practically straight away without any excitement or fuss of any sort. Our horses and ourselves were on board in a very short time, and we were all well settled down by the time night came. The C.Y.C. have good quarters for their horses. There are 90 men all packed in one big room. Goodness knows what it will be like in hot weather. Anyhow, we all managed to sleep well on board the first night. On Wednesday, we were busy all day getting luggage on board and making things comfortable. No visitors were allowed on the wharf. People were waiting all day to get in to see us. There were about 700 people to see us off. They came on the wharf at 5 o’clock, and we sailed at 5.15, so they did not have much time to say good bye. It was a very stirring send off I can tell you. Mr C. Hay, and party from Pigeon Bay, came with us out to the Heads. I suppose they were going back to the Bay. “
Christchurch City Libraries has many overseas visitors coming to the library to research their family history. I enjoy these interactions as they are interesting and can uncover new information for families.
On this particular day an Australian visitor arrived keen to verify a family story about her relatives Nicholas and William Quinn. The brothers had apparently donated to the building of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, lived in Christchurch, and Quinns Road was named after them. So began the research to see if this story was correct.
Christchurch street names P-Q proved an invaluable resource with Quinns Road being named after a John Quinn, farmer of Shirley. The customer did not recognise this John and she did not know where the brothers lived in Christchurch.
We checked the New Zealand Electoral Rolls on Ancestry and located a Nicholas Quinn in Waimate. She was unsure about this information as believed the brothers lived in Christchurch. However checking the original record proved both brothers were on the Electoral Roll and living in the Waimate area for the majority of their lives. Papers Past filled in gaps for the customer as there were many entries for the Quinn brothers in the Timaru Herald.
But what about donating to the building of the Cathedral? Google Images returned an image of a Quinn’s brick and we followed the trail. The link provided a detailed summary of the history of the two Irish brothers who originally fired bricks on their own property and went on to build many prominent buildings in Waimate and Makikihi, including the local Catholic Church. Nicholas did contribute to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament by leaving money, after he died, to contribute to peals of bells for the new church.
William and Nicholas Quinn proved to be fascinating early settlers, and whilst the outcome was different from the original story the family now had one that was verified and enriched through research and perseverance. If you are interested in uncovering family stories Christchurch City Libraries is running a Getting Started: Beginners Guide to Family History for four weeks beginning the 29th July, 6pm to 7.30pm. Ring 941-7923 if you are interested.
Papers Past is a New Zealand taonga . This collection of digitised newspapers is an invaluable resource for students, historians, writers, researchers and anyone who wants to timetravel. Some recent additions will be of particular interest for Christchurch.
The Press now includes the years 1921 to 1928. Coverage is now from 25 May 1861 to 29 December 1928 (20192 issues)
The Star now covers issues from 1910 to 1914. The coverage is now from 4 May 1868 to 31 December 1914 (14589 issues)
Newly added is The Sun 6 February 1914 – 31 December 1915 (595 issues)
In 1912, Edward C Huie resigned from editorship of the Press Company’s Evening News in Christchurch, frustrated that the proprietors were not interested in the young Australian’s ideas about livelier journalism and layout. The Evening News’ primary role was to carry news and advertisements too late for that day’s Press. The 36-year-old Huie announced shortly afterwards his intention to launch a third evening paper, a competitor to the Evening News and the Lyttelton Times’ Star.
We have two new exciting electronic additions just in time for Anzac Day.
Papers Past allows access to digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals from 1839 to 1945. It now includes the Otago Daily Timesdigitised from 1901-1920 which means the WWI period is covered online by this major New Zealand daily paper. A great source of information for researchers of family and social history.
Find My Past AU has created the ‘Findmypast ANZAC Memory Bank’ to honour the men and women who represented their country at war. This bank will contain personal accounts, diaries, expert articles, and photographs from ALL wars. The ANZAC Memory Bank will commemorate not only the lost lives but also the brave men and women who made it home safely again. The memory bank will launch on the 1st of April and apparently there is already lots of New Zealand content. If you want to you can add to the memory bank by sharing your thoughts, stories and photos with Find My Past.
Christchurch City Libraries subscribes to a range of electronic resources at the Source including many to help in your family history searches. Take some time to have a play… you would be amazed how much there is to learn and see.
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.
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)