Under the Australian Newspaper Plan (ANPlan), primary responsibility for the collection, preservation and access of an Australian newspaper rests with the state or territory library of origin, and, in the case of national newspapers (The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The National Times, Nation Review, Independent Monthly), rests with the National Library.

The repatriation of newspapers to the state/territory (or national) library of origin, is one way in which ANPlan libraries can meet these objectives. Newspaper repatriation, therefore, is a strategy supported by ANPlan. Repatriation can take place (a) when an ANPlan library is seeking titles or issues to be repatriated to its own collection, or (b) when an ANPlan library is seeking to repatriate titles or issues in their collections to the relevant state/territory or national library of origin.

(a) Usually when an ANPlan library seeks titles or issues to be repatriated, the purpose is to prepare the title to be reformatted to preservation standards. If repatriation is not possible for this purpose, ANPlan libraries are encouraged to work together to find a way to meet the preservation requirements of the title under consideration. For instance, to ensure that the 'best copy' is reformatted or gaps can be filled, libraries could consider lending their newspapers for reformatting.

In either of the above situations (i.e. permanent repatriation or temporary loan), it is desirable that the receiving library provide the donor library with a surrogate copy of the material (e.g. service copy of microfilm, access to digital file) if possible.

(b) Where an ANPlan library seeks to repatriate titles or issues to the library of origin, it is highly likely that it will be a permanent arrangement and there will be no need for surrogate copies to be provided to the repatriating library.

It is acknowledged that under certain circumstances, repatriation of titles may not be possible or desirable. For example:

  • transfer may not be legally possible. For instance if a title is part of a collection bequested specifically to a library;
  • transfer may represent a potential preservation risk;
  • transfer may break up the integrity of a collection;
  • the title is a “paper of record”. For these titles, hard copies should be kept in two ANPlan libraries.

The first three of the above considerations apply also to the review of custody arrangements and repatriation of master microfilm.

“Paper of record” is defined as:

  • ethnic community and indigenous newspapers.  Even though some of these may have a focus on local/community news, they are an important reflection of Australia’s multicultural society and therefore of significance for future research.  They also tend to include viewpoints that may not be well represented in more mainstream media;
  • subject based newspapers on topics such as agriculture, sport, religion, labour/union matters, mining, music, gay/lesbian community, seniors etc.;
  • capital city (non-suburban) newspapers with broad state or national focus and containing original articles – not merely digests of news reproduced from other sources.  Includes capital city dailies as well as titles such as Truth (Sydney, N.S.W.) http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2831223, Economist (Melbourne, Vic.) http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1932521 , Independent weekly http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3121836, Australasian post http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3016344 etc.;
  •  country/regional newspapers that include substantial original feature articles on topics such as historical aspects of the area, economic/business conditions and activity, agricultural news, state/federal politics as this relates to the town/region.