Something I meant to write about a few months back (but became distracted) is the recent achievement of Federated Mountain Clubs in managing to get all of its FMC bulletins online, and available for download, all the way back to FMC Bulletin 1 of May 1957, when then-President Bill Bridge introduced the newsletter almost as an anti-climax.
As of late last year, all older bulletins have been scanned from paper to PDF form, and the current online archive now contains 182 issues and is growing.
The archive is available here, and a complete downloaded collection of bulletins from the beginning amounts to approximately 360 Megabytes. Most of the older bulletins are only photo-scanned at this time and thus aren’t text searchable with regular tools, but it’s still a great resource.
This is awesome. It’s a great history of many things back-country in New Zealand, and browsing through the bulletins I’ve found it interesting to compare what made the issues of the day (mining, roads, dams, fears of user pays with Rogernomics and the new Department of Conservation, support for the re-naming of Mt Taranaki), and how the style has changed over the years. Accident Reports, for instance, were once presented in a somewhat more direct way (often naming names) than today’s bulletin’s Back-Country Accidents section.
There’s a lot to get through, and I think the lasting benefit of this will be a large library of information on back-country issues now being more easily available when researching past events.