Digital archive boost for historic paper trail

By Don Farmer

Family history buffs in Wairarapa should be rejoicing at news a big slice of the past is soon going to become available for searching online.

District archivist Gareth Winter said yesterday more than 30 years of Masterton newspapers dating from 1879 will soon be online, thanks to an initiative by the National Library.

The content of the old newspapers will be added to the online digital newspaper archive PapersPast.

The National Libraries digitisation manager, Sam Minchin, said the newspapers dating from 1879 until the early years of the 20th century have been included as part of the annual schedule, as a result of suggestions from customers and a recommendation from the library's newspaper experts. He expected the papers to be available on-site in June.

Mr Winter said he was excited by the development. "PapersPast already has Masterton newspapers from 1902 to 1919 and addition of older issues means researchers will be able to find out more about the Wairarapa and its early families."

The Wairarapa Daily started in Masterton in 1878, changing its title to Wairarapa Daily Times in 1892. In 1938, it amalgamated with opposition newspaper Wairarapa Age to become Wairarapa Times-Age.

The website is at


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