Table of Contents


Simple search

Perform a simple search by typing keywords into the search box and clicking Search. The search engine will return results that include all of your search terms.

Punctuation and case will not affect your search results. For example, using either of the two terms below will give you identical results:

Mr J Woods
Mr j. woods

Exact phrase search

You can search for an exact phrase by placing quotation marks around your search terms. For example:

“new plymouth”
“12 Smith Street”
“Wellington Girls’ College”

Boolean search

Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT can be used to refine your search results. Note that AND, OR and NOT must be capitalized.

AND – Narrows your search. Results will contain all of the keywords:
Antony AND Cleopatra

OR – Broadens your search. Results contain at least one of the keywords:
Antony OR Cleopatra

NOT – Narrows your search to exclude the keywords:
York NOT New
Results will include articles about York, but not New York.

You can group clauses using parentheses, for example (hamilton OR waikato) AND river.

Advanced search

Click Advanced search to show the "Advanced search" popup. This allows you to limit your search results by:

  • A date range

It also allows you to search within full text/article headlines/comments, and choose whether you would like text or image previews displayed with your search results.

Advanced query syntax

Query terms can be boosted to increase their importance in the search, thus changing the order of the search results. This is done by adding "^" and a boost factor at the end of the term. For example:

hamilton river^2 treats "river" as more important than "hamilton" when ranking the search results returned.

Wildcard searches can be performed by including "?" for a single character wildcard in the query term. For example:

m?m - will match all three letter words beginning and ending with ‘m’ such as mom and mum

Include "*" for a multiple character wildcard in the query term. For example:

anti* - will match all words starting with "anti" such as antidote, antiquity and antithesis

A fuzzy search will retrieve terms that are similar to a specified term without necessarily being an exact match. It can help to compensate for errors in the text due to the Optical Character Recognition process. Add "~1" to the end of individual terms, for example:

roam~1 will find terms like "foam" and "roams" as well as "roam"

Proximity searching allows you to search for words that appear close together in the text. For example:

"John Smith"~3 will find results containing both the words "John" and "Smith" where they are no more than 3 words apart. As well as finding "John Smith" it will also find "John J. Smith", "John Frederick Smith", "John Fullerton-Smith" and even "Smith, John".

Search filters

Any filters applied to the search are shown below the search box. You can remove these by clicking them, or remove them all by clicking "Clear all".

On the search results page, the area at the left of the page shows the most common values occurring in various categories in the search results. Selecting one of these facets applies it as a search filter.

Navigating articles and pages

The document viewer is split into two parts: the right side shows the page images that make up the document, and the left side is used for displaying metadata and text.

Common navigation tasks:

Previous/next issue - use Previous issue Browse all issues of this publication Next issue to go back to the previous issue in the publication, browse all issues of the publication, or advance to the next issue in the publication.

Previous/next search result - use Previous search result Back to search result list Next search result to go back to the previous search result, return to the search results page, or advance to the next search result.

Maximise the viewing area - use Maximize in the upper right hand corner.

Zoom in/out - use the magnifying glass symbols Zoom in Zoom out in the upper right hand corner or use the wheel on your mouse.

Pan (move the image around the screen) - left-click and hold to drag the image around.

Previous/next page - use Previous page Next page to go back to the previous page or show the next page in the issue.

Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a process by which software reads a page image and translates it into a text file by recognising the shapes of the letters (The NINCH Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials).

OCR enables searching of large quantities of full-text data, but it is never 100% accurate. The level of accuracy depends on the print quality of the original issue, its condition at the time of microfilming, the level of detail captured by the microfilm scanner, and the quality of the OCR software. Issues with poor quality paper, small print, mixed fonts, multiple column layouts, or damaged pages may have poor OCR accuracy.

The searchable text and titles in this collection have been automatically generated using OCR software. They may not have been manually reviewed or corrected.

The OCR text of the page is displayed in the "Page" tab of the left pane of the document viewer.

How to correct OCR text

OCR text corrections are saved to the database and will improve the service for all users by increasing the accuracy of search results.

There are two ways you can begin to correct text. From the document viewer:

  • Select the article or page you want to correct. This will display the text in the left pane of the document viewer. Click on the "Correct this text" link that appears above this text.
  • Right-click on the article or page image and select "Correct article text" or "Correct page text" from the options pop-up window.

The text correction interface is split into two parts: the right side shows the page images that make up the document, and the left side is used for editing the lines of text.

When you move your mouse over the page images in the right pane, the blocks making up the pages will highlight. You can scroll this view by dragging with the mouse, or zoom in/out using the buttons above the viewer. Clicking a highlighted block will select it and load a form for editing that block into the left pane.

Correct the text line by line. A red box is displayed in the right pane to help you determine what text should be included in the line. Once you have finished correcting text, click "Save". The changes you make will take effect immediately.

You can then make further corrections to the same block, move onto the next block by clicking the "Save & next" or "Next" button, select another block in the right pane, or exit the text correction view by clicking the "Return to viewing mode" link.

Clicking "Save & exit" instead of "Save" will save the changes and then return you to the normal viewing mode automatically.

Hint: Many web browsers include spell checking functionality and this can assist with your text correction by identifying misspelt words. If your web browser does not have this functionality, it's likely there is a spell checking add-on available (see your web browser's help for information on how to install add-ons).

For recommendations about topics such as punctuation, misspellings and illegible text, see General guidelines for text correction.

User accounts

To create an account click "Register" and enter your email address, first and last name and display name. Once submitted, you will receive an email containing a link to activate your user account and complete the registration process.

You don’t have to create an account to use many of the features of this website. If you choose to become a registered user you will gain access to additional features (e.g. private lists, comments, OCR text corrections). You may also select to store a history of your searches and viewed items.

Any contributions (e.g. comments, OCR text corrections) you make are "public" (i.e. all other users of the website can see them), and they are associated with your user account. For detailed information about the management of registered users’ personal data, see our Privacy policy.

Private lists

Private lists allow you to save articles or pages to uniquely named lists for later review. This feature is available to registered users only.

To create a private list, right-click on an article or page in the document viewer to reveal a pop-up pane. Select "Add to private list". From here you can choose to create a new list or add to an existing one, and make an optional note. Your private lists may be deleted, emailed, renamed or annotated within the "Private lists" tab of the My account page.


Registered users can add public comments to articles.

To add a comment, select an article in the document viewer by clicking on it. To the left of your screen is a pane displaying the article text. Scroll to the bottom of this pane until you reach the "Comments" section. Add your comments into the text box and click "Add comment".

To view your recent comments visit the My account page and choose the "Recently added comments" section from the "Recent activity" tab.


Articles can be printed directly from your web browser.

If available, PDF versions of issues and pages can be downloaded for printing.

Technical requirements

In general, you only need a common web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer to search and browse this collection.

To view or print PDFs, you will also need a PDF viewer like Adobe Acrobat Reader.