25 Jun 2015

Historic Maori language papers digitised

8:15 am on 25 June 2015

Maori language newspapers published in the 19th and early 20th century have now been digitalised and are available to the public on line.

The banner of one of the niupepa

Photo: National Library

More than 120,000 pages have been taken from 18 separate Niupepa Maori [Maori periodicals] published between 1842 and 1913.

The papers were produced by the government, churches and by both Maori and Pakeha and have been described as a hidden gem of this country's historical archive.

They will be published on the National Library of New Zealand's Papers Past website.

All of the niupepa are either written in Maori or are bilingual.

Papers Past manager Emerson Vandy said extending access to the papers was an exciting development and would open them up to a new audience .

"This is a chance to bring together some valuable resources for Maori researchers interested in whakapapa."

Alexander Turnbull Library curator Paul Diamond said the newspapers opened up a view into the Maori world of the past.

"The library is looking forward to seeing how the niupepa are used and what else can be found in them," he said.

The additions to the Paper Past website build on work by the University of Waikato to bring niupepa to the internet.