NZAJ – New Zealand Alpine Journal

NZAJ is a joint project of the Linguistics Department of the University of Innsbruck (Tirol, Austria) and the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC). The goal of this project was to digitise the New Zealand Alpine Journal (1892-2014) and to make it freely available via the internet.

The annual New Zealand Alpine Journal (NZAJ) is NZAC’s premiere publication; it is a record of the climbing year, a source for research and a forum for reflection. The NZAJ was first published in 1892 and is an extraordinary treasure of climbing and mountaineering history. It provides information and insights on decades of climbers and climbing, articles cover a wide range of topics such as reports on first ascents, descriptions of routes, scientific articles from geology, geography, surveying, biology, history, environmental management.

The project was initiated by Claudia Posch and Gerhard Rampl at the Department of Linguistics at Innsbruck University. In a related project they already successfully digitized Austria’s Alpine Club Journal 1869 – 1998 (, a comparable digital heritage project.

More than 17,500 pages needed to be scanned and turned into machine-readable text by automated text recognition. Ross Cullen from NZAC set up a crowd funding option on Givealittle, which accumulated the funds for getting the project started. Scanning generally worked well, but created some problems which required further work. For example, specks and blemishes from typesetting lead to text recognition errors. Or unique place or field names may confuse text recognition. Project editors at Innsbruck University and New Zealand volunteers crowd-corrected these errors to get a good and clean text.

On this platform the complete volumes of the New Zealand Alpine Journal are now available including extensive full-text search.