Editions of the Ellesmere Guardian from 1891 – 1945 can be accessed online as part of the National Libary’s Papers Past project. They give a fascinating insight into life around the lake in years gone by.
An annual highlight for the district if the Ellesmere A&P Show. A comprehensive report on the same event from 1891 gives us a glimpse of the long traditions of the show – see the report here.
Founding WET Trustee Rob McPherson led this project for a number of years, making fully searchable digitised pages of the Ellesmere Guardian available to view free of charge.
The “Guardian” was published at Southbridge and then Leeston twice weekly from 1880 until 1974, when it became a weekly until it ceased publication in 1981. Circulating throughout the then Ellesmere County, it provided detailed reports on all aspects of rural life and of its many townships. Also recorded were developments and changes in governance, infrastructure and industry.
The National Library of New Zealand has responsibility for the Crown’s documentary heritage collections. It is undertaking a “Papers Past” project to permanently record and make available past newspapers by digitising pages of interest. Fully indexed and searchable, it is freely available online. To date, there have been over a million pages from more than fifty newspapers digitised.
Interest from WET and others in indexing the Ellesmere Guardian saw available copies of the paper’s initial years to 1906 being digitised late in 2008. This was followed by an additional batch of editions, from 1906 – 1945, being made available in early 2011. This was done with widespread support and financial contributions coming from the National Library, Lincoln University Library, Christchurch City Library, Selwyn District Council, Ellesmere Historical Society and WET.
Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to obtain the necessary permission from the copyright holders for the digitisation of the batch of papers from 1945 – 1974 but we hope that will happen at some point.