WA newspaper heritage preserved
9 July 2010
Regional Australian newspapers are valued for the unique record of life in their communities which they provide. From local news to local personalities, sport to fashions, these newspapers shed light on the life and occupations of the people who inhabited these places. Sometimes the only newspaper circulating in the area at the time, they provide a vital source of information for researchers studying the history and events of a town or district and for genealogists tracing family histories. Recently, with funding from the National Library, a number of regional Western Australian newspapers have been preserved for permanent access through microfilming. The papers filmed in this cooperative project with the State Library of WA include the Nungarin-Trayning Mail and Kununoppin Advertiser (1917-1922), published in Merredin and circulated in the farming towns of Kununoppin, Nungarin, Trayning, Korrelocking, Yorkrakine, Mount Marshall, Yelbeni and Kodj Kodjin, in most cases being the only newspaper in the town for the period. The York Chronicle (1927-1959) was a significant newspaper published and circulating in the town of York, Western Australia’s first settled inland town, continuing the Eastern Districts Chronicle begun in 1877. Other papers to be filmed include the Umpire (1897-1903), a significant weekly sporting newspaper featuring stories on horse and harness racing, football, cricket, racing, cycling and athletics; the Tambellup Times (1912-1924), circulating in the south-western farming towns; and the Westonian (1915-1920), published in the farming and mining town of Westonia and circulated in Westonia, the Yilgarn and the Eastern Goldfields. The Manjimup and Warren Times, the Avon Gazette and Kellerberrin News and its successors (published between 1914 and 1931) and the Narrogin Advocate and Southern Districts Courier (1904-1906), the first newspaper published in the important farming town of Narrogin, were also included in the project as were the three Fremantle newspapers: the Advertiser (1921-1932), Fremantle Times (1919-1921, 1932), and Herald (1867-1886). All of these newspapers were in urgent need of microfilming and have been saved from deterioration and with it, the potential loss of the history of the township or region which they document.