Nelson Photo News - Make it Digital Award Project Update

This is the first in a series of posts from our second Make it Digital Award winners - The Friends of the Nelson Library Microfilm Sub-committee The Make it Digital award winners are sharing their real life experience of getting their digitisation projects off the ground. You can read their other posts here and here.

Nelson Photo News Issue no 30 Apr 27 1963
Nelson Photo News. 1963, Nelson N.Z. : Logan:30 (Apr 27)

The first run of the Nelson Photo News is a rare and unique
photographic record of life in Nelson in the early 1960’s and 1970’s –
a time of rapid social and cultural change. The serial captures
personal and community events through photographs and lively

The Project Steering Group

Friends of the Nelson Library Microfilm Sub-committee - Image Courtesy of Nelson Mail
Friends of the Nelson Library Microfilm Sub-committee - Image Courtesy of Nelson Mail

The Friends of the Nelson Library Microfilm Sub-committee responding to
community pressure to do something about preserving and making
accessible this valuable resource, have been fundraising for a number
of years to enable the digitisation of the issues from 1960 - 1972 to
proceed. Winning the grant from Digital NZ was an exciting time for the
committee as it meant the project can now come to fruition.

The project is very much a collaborative effort, with the The Friends
of the Nelson Library Microfilm Sub-committee composed of members from
the Nelson Public Libraries: nga whare matauranga o whakatu, the Nelson
Provincial Museum: Pupuri Taonga o Te Tai Ao, Nelson Historical
Society, Nelson Institute and the Nelson Branch of the New Zealand
Society of Genealogists.

To date the committee has been responsible for several microfilming and
digitisation projects including the microfilming of the Nelson Mail and
the digitisation of the Nelson Historical Journals.

Why We Are Digitising?

As the editor Barry Simpson stated in the first issue: “Our experience
…. indicates that many people allow the first issue or two to be
destroyed, which is regretted later…subscribers grow to value the
pictorial record of community life.”
Unfortunately most early issues of the Nelson Photo News have been
discarded, and over the run only a handful of complete sets are
believed to exist in private collections; currently there are no full
sets held in the public domain.

The publication of each issue of the Nelson Photo News was a popular
event and over the years the publication has reached almost iconic
status locally. With a 'roving cameraman' style to the publication,
many Nelsonians feature in past editions and feedback indicates that
they are keen to see themselves again in their 1960s glory!

Nelson Photo News Issue 2 Dec 10 1960

Nelson Photo News. 1960, Nelson N.Z. : Logan:2 (Dec 10).

"The Photo News magazines are part of my history. Oh the excitement on
the day they went on sale each month, and the competition in our house
to be first to read it. I fully support this publication being
digitised. On a personal level it would be great to be able revisit
these magazines. On a wider aspect, there is huge content of historical
value to the Nelson region and its people. "

Nelson Photo News 28 Feb 2 1963

Nelson Photo News. 1963, Nelson N.Z. : Logan:27 (Feb 2).

With limited issues available, digitisation of this serial will ensure
that this important snapshot of 1960s life will be not only preserved,
but readily accessible to the wider community.