Rip it up and start again (online)


More than ten years ago (*shudder*) I went to the National Library of New Zealand specifically to check out some articles from Rip It Up and a few other publications whilst researching some stuff on NZ indie from the early to mid 1980s. Plus ça change…

I can’t remember exactly but I know I was helped by a kind staff member who was able to direct me to the issues I was after, and when they understood that I was in the middle of a trip and didn’t want to carry reams of photocopy paper around, a space was found for me ‘behind the scenes’ so that I could instead use a scanner and email myself the stuff I was looking at. It was a really enjoyable delve into the archives.


Well, actually, things have changed a little in the last ten years, and I was very happy to see this morning that the archives of Rip It Up have started finding their way onto NLNZ’s excellent Papers Past website.

(I’ve used Papers Past for years, mostly to scratch itches around the early European settlement of New Zealand, and to see what life must have been like for some of the country’s earliest Pākehā settlers. Those early issues talking about the arrival of exciting new stock from the old country, or the establishment of a new business breathe life into those times in a very direct way. Not to mention reports of crimes and unusual events such as earthquakes or fires.)

Anyway, it’s particularly cool to see Rip It Up entered into this database as it is a very recent publication. And it benefits from all the great tools and interface that Papers Past has built up over the years of refinement. So now I can just go to the search box, type in ‘the Chills’ and start reading. Magic.

And a lot easier than visiting Wellington and thumbing through the physical copies. Although that’s fun too…

There’s an interesting write-up here which goes into the history of Rip It Up and some of the obstacles it has faced over the years, and the current status with regard to Papers Past. And the first available issues are browseable and searchable here.

This all comes hot on the heels of the latest update on the Flying Nun archive, too, which you can read about in tons of detail also over at the NLNZ blog.