How valuable is the very first copy of the New Zealand Herald, from 13 November 1863?
Over the years, many people have claimed to have a copy of the very first New Zealand Herald. As there are only two known full copies, one with the publishers and the other with the National Library in Wellington, any other copy would be extremely valuable.
How then, can they be sure if the copy is indeed an original from 1863?
My first question to them is to check the very bottom of Column One on Page Two. If they find the words “Reproduction: Monday, November 14, 1988”, then they have a reprint even although it has the requisite six pages.
If the version they have has only four pages, then odds on they have a copy of the 1913 reprint, but further questions need to follow.
On Page One is the Z in Zealand with one or two vertical strokes and do the small pictures of the ships in the shipping columns have full sails, rather than furled? The 1863 original has two vertical strokes and furled sails. Below is the 1913 reproduction taken from Paperspast:
The example below is taken from the issue one week after the original and shows what the sketches of the ships looked like with their sails furled:
There is a further point of confusion, however. The Papers Past version of the 13 November 1863 New Zealand Herald must have come from the 1913 facsimile, as it has six pages, one stroke on the Z and full sails. The top right of the first page is also annotated that it is from the 1913 reproduction.
The example below is taken from the New Zealand Herald page on Paperspast and shows how the original would look with the double vertical lines on the 'Z'.
Auckland Libraries microfilm version of the first copy is also from the 1913 reproduction as this letter that precedes it on the microfilm explains:
Ref: New Zealand Herald, 13 November 1863, Central Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries.
For more information about the New Zealand Herald on Paperspast have a read of our previous posts on the topic.
Author: David Verran, Central Auckland Research Centre