Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program Selection Policy

Newspapers are selected for digitisation under the National Library of Australia’s Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program (ANDP) by the National, State and Territory libraries through the Australian Newspaper Plan according to the selection criteria set out in this policy.

The ANDP also welcomes newspaper content that has been identified and funded by individuals or institutions through its contributor model. Guidelines on contributing content to the ANDP are available on the National Library of Australia’s website.

Selection criteria

It has been estimated that approximately 7,700 newspaper titles have been published within Australia. The National Library of Australia (NLA) is providing access to digitised newspapers from all states and territories that reflect the breadth and diversity of the Australian community and its newspaper publishing output.

Use, historical significance and geographical/regional coverage will be key factors in the ANPlan libraries’ selection of newspapers for digitisation.

The long term objective of the ANDP is to make freely available all Australian newspapers published prior to 1955 and hence out of copyright. The Library may also make available content published after 1954 if the agreement of the publishers is obtained.

Generally, newspapers selected must have been microfilmed and the microfilm must be of a suitable quality and completeness for digitisation. As time and funding allow, the NLA may investigate digitisation from hardcopy material.

Newspapers falling within the following areas will receive particular consideration for digitisation:

  1. Newspapers of national focus. [1]
  2. “Thematic” newspaper titles. [2]
  3. Migrant community newspapers (English or non-English language).
  4. Newspapers suggested by the public, which the NLA collates and provides to ANPlan libraries for reference.
  5. Newspapers suggested by reader services staff in ANPlan libraries.
  6. Issues of newspapers which extend the coverage of newspapers that are only partially digitised.
  7. Newspapers containing material which corresponds to national centenary celebrations or other significant historical events. [3]
  8. Titles microfilmed with funding from the NLA under the cooperative newspaper digitisation program or where a local community is actively supporting the microfilming of a title.

For 2013/14, the major focus areas will be World War I and community language newspapers.

Listings of selected and digitised titles

A list of newspaper titles already digitised is available on Trove, as well as a list of newspaper titles selected for digitisation for the current year.

Making a suggestion

To suggest a title for consideration, please use our online form, or get in touch with your state or territory library.

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[1] For example, the Bulletin; the five national titles  which the National Library of Australia is responsible for under ANPlan i.e. The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The National Times, National Review and Independent Monthly and their former and later titles; newspaper titles digitisedas part of the Australian Cooperative Digitisation project —“Ferguson periodicals”.

[2] Some examples of themes of interest are:

  • Agriculture
  • Religion
  • Labour/Union
  • Mining
  • Military
  • Sports
  • Environment
  • Entertainment
  • World War I

[3] For instance, for the centenary of Canberra in 2013, the NLA is digitising the Canberra Times 1955-1995.