This week Australia is celebrating National Volunteer Week. According to Volunteering Australia, every day over six million Aussies give up some of their time. There are all sorts of ways that volunteers contribute to our community. Dedicated 'Troveites' help make our history searchable by editing the electronically translated text in Trove’s digitised newspapers.
It is estimated that over 7000 newspaper titles have been published in Australia. The poor quality paper used for newspapers quickly becomes brittle and, with their size and volume, means print newspapers are expensive to store, conserve and manage. These factors led to a collaboration established in the early 1990s by National, State and Territory libraries known as the Australian Newspaper Plan (ANPLAN).
A rather quirky reference enquiry received from far away Canada. Q: Does your library have any record of a strange UFO incident which (reputedly) occurred on June 13, 1961 at Bethungra, N.S.W. in which a 25m-diameter disc became entangled in telephone wires at a railroad station? A: I have done some searching for information about the Bethungra UFO sighting and found a couple of newspaper articles that should be of interest to you. Bethungra is a rural area in New South Wales, part way between the towns of Junee and Cootamundra.
The National Library of Australia’s Ask a librarian service receives around nine hundred online reference enquiries a month. These can cover an enormous range of topics, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Here’s one example of an enquiry received this week, along with our response. Happy reading!
Q: In 1860, Archbishop Polding travelled to Murrurundi, NSW, from 17th to 19th of February. Our parish would like to know what he said when he addressed the people 150 years ago.