Where (online) can I find New Zealand newspaper articles from 1968?
May 14, 2015 6:40 PM   Subscribe

My mother and her sister were involved in a dramatic mountain rescue in New Zealand in 1968. I'd like to be able to read the newspaper articles about the event, but I can't find online sources for NZ later than 1945. Are there other places I could look to find the articles?

I know there was newspaper coverage of the rescue because I remember seeing the clippings at my grandmother's house as a child.

(I am not in New Zealand, so I'd prefer an online source. The incident took place in the Malte Brun ranges, if that helps)
posted by girlgenius to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
Response by poster: [sorry, forgot to add: the places I've tried are the NZ national archives and the NZ national library]
posted by girlgenius at 6:44 PM on May 14, 2015

I think you might be out of luck. Most newspapers have online archives since the 1990s, and as you've discovered, the National Library holds things up to around 1945, but I think there's a gap in between.

What I would do is two things:
1 contact the Mt Cook Visitor Information centre and see if they have anything on record. They might have kept relevant newspaper clippings. ​mtcookvc@doc.govt.nz

2 Try a librarian from the closest small town that has a proper library. They will have physical copies of the newspapers from that time, and might be interested enough in local history to look them up for you and maybe even scan something. I'd try Westland District Library for this: http://westlib.co.nz/contact-us-online/
Libraries in Christchurch will have more holdings, but as a big city, they'll be busier and maybe not as inclined to help you.
posted by lollusc at 6:59 PM on May 14, 2015

Also, I am based in Australia (but from NZ), and in my experience the NZ National Archives will find and scan relevant materials for you for a fee. If you contact them, they will at least be able to tell you which newspapers from those dates they hold, and if you aren't sure of the exact dates but can narrow it down to within a period of a few weeks, they'll probably do a bit of hunting for you to find the articles and give you a list of what they have that mentions the rescue.

Their fees are a bit steep when you want lots of documents, but for one or two newspaper articles, I expect they'd be pretty reasonable. I can't recall exactly how much they are off the top of my head.
posted by lollusc at 7:03 PM on May 14, 2015

My networks are not very encouraging I'm afraid. Best suggestion so far is to try Australian papers from the period as if it was that dramatic an event, reports may have been syndicated across the Tasman.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:58 PM on May 14, 2015

Best answer: By the way, if you can post the exact date, I can pop over to the Christchurch Public library and see what they have on microfiche or in archives -- they will have copies of the Press and the Star I would think, who would have covered anything noteworthy in the South Island.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:00 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you'd like to try Australia, Google News Archive has The Sydney Morning Herald, including 255 issues from 1968.
posted by Knappster at 8:36 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

One from 1969, another from 1958. Sure about the year?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:09 PM on May 14, 2015

Best answer: Without knowing your relatives' names I can't be sure, but I've found a few Australian articles from 1969 that mentioned a dramatic rescue of two sisters. The first one says they were on Mt Annan near the Malte Brun area, and others talk about Mt Cook National Park, which seems to contain Malte Brun.

Six feared dead in NZ Alps
Girls safe after 74 hours in blizzard
Girls tell how they cheated blizzard
Sister just saved from one peak, to climb another
Snow storm girls to climb again

If that's not them, try searching their names in Trove, the National Library of Australia's archive of digitised newspapers.
posted by escapepod at 1:41 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Specifically, try searching issues of the Canberra Times (as far as I know, it's the only major Australian newspaper from the 1960s included in Trove). The Canberra Times tends to include lots of international news, so you have a reasonable chance of finding them mentioned.
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 3:26 AM on May 15, 2015

If you're interested in sourcing copies of articles that appeared in NZ newspapers, your best bet is to contact a public library department (such as the Auckland Research Centre) directly via email. They might be able to do a reference query for you remotely (though there'll likely be a research fee involved, and they'll certainly need to bill you for any photocopying or scanning). New Zealand newspapers are pretty poorly served by digitization after the cut-off point for PapersPast, but there are plenty of indices (like the New Zealand Card Index) available for tracking stuff down.
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:18 AM on May 15, 2015

Also, look for wire stories in other countries. I found a UPI short article in the Daily Independent Journal in San Rafael.
posted by vickyverky at 11:30 AM on May 15, 2015

Response by poster: Holey moley, escapepod, that's them! It (stupidly) didn't occur to me that it would also have made the papers in Australia. Thanks so much!
posted by girlgenius at 4:09 AM on May 16, 2015

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