Papers Past is a database of New Zealand Newspapers from the 19th and early 20th Century. It has recently been redeveloped with a new search interface and better display options. The big news is the introduction of text searching, a feature previously unavailable in this database.
New content has been added and there are now forty-four newspapers in the database. Over 20% of the pages now have searchable full-text.
Future developments of Papers Past will see more newspapers added to the collection, and conversion of existing content into the searchable full-text format.
The searchable text is generated by optical character recognition software (OCR). Historical newspapers present problems with OCR because of the variable quality of original newspapers and difficult page formats so the resulting text is imperfect. The computer generated text has not been manually checked or corrected. Using a "fuzzy search" instead of an exact spelling will work around some of the problems.
An imperfection in the original text above has resulted in an incorrect rendition of the author's name in the computer generated text below.