Going past Papers Past: a mass of mastheads

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Post by Kari Wilson-Allan, Library Assistant – Reference

Papers Past is undoubtedly a valuable and convenient resource for historical research.  It is easy, however, in using it, to overlook other avenues of journalistic endeavour.

While working on a response to a recent reference enquiry, I came across a reel of microfilm in the stack containing all manner of titles, some of which I had never previously encountered.  A large number of these were of local origin, and covered matters social, political, intellectual, commercial, spiritual and more.

The Dunedin triumvirate available online (Otago Daily Times, Otago Witness and Evening Star) shine a light on the city’s goings-on, but to rely on these three is to neglect a wider range of perspectives and possibilities for enquiry.

Regrettably, the film holds only a single issue of many of the titles, and some rolled off the presses for only the briefest of spells, yet they reveal a lively and varied past.

The selection of mastheads below all feature on the reel; search any of the titles on Library Search | Ketu to request the film.

Other early Dunedin papers of which we hold larger runs include the paper most commonly known as the Otago Workman (otherwise the Beacon or Forbury News, later the Otago Liberal), the Echo, the Globe and the Southern Mercury.

01 Port Chalmers watch 02 Sandfly 03 NZ Liberator 04 Magnolia 05 Penny Post 06 Hot springs guide 07 Guardian 08 Morning herald 09 Illustrated news 10 NZ Life

This entry was posted in Magazines, journals, periodicals and newspapers, Print culture, Printing and publishing, Resources by Anna Blackman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Anna Blackman

I'm Head Curator Archives here at the Hocken Collections and one of my tasks is to maintain this blog.

5 thoughts on “Going past Papers Past: a mass of mastheads

  1. Kia ora Donald, thank you for bringing that article to our attention; it is certainly extensive and an interesting read. It would be wonderful to see someone build the database you are imagining – but what a job it would be! There are of course Union lists and the like, but they don’t account for publications that are lost to time, nor do they always include all titles published.

  2. I am actively researching John Graham (1831-1904) who was otherwise known was Jock or “Red Coat” or the Goldfields Postman. I am building his story on Wikitree mostly from items found in papers past.
    I have noted the masthead of his “Hot Springs Guide” in your blog but have been unable to find the full guide anywhere. can you point me to where to look. It amazes me that there are not more of this Guide still extant as it seems that a lot were produced.
    I live in Blenheim and do get to Dunedin occasionally so at some time may be able to visit the Hocken Library

    • Kia ora Philip, thank you for your comment. We will email you in the next few days with what we know about the “Hot Springs Guide”. Kā mihi, Kari

    • There is an article about Jock Graham in the journal “The Maorilander” (no.5, 1972), which features a photo of him in later life on the cover.

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