The top 10 of 2015

The top 10 of 2015
What were people reading in Trove's digitised newspapers in 2015
21 March 2016

A sincere Happy Easter from the Trove team for everyone celebrating the holiday. Hopefully you will be taking some time over the long weekend to reflect, re-pot the begonias, buy prawns, burn prawns on the bbq, buy more prawns, put the cat out for getting into the prawns, stuff yourself with chocolate instead of prawns, reflect a little more and of course, read Trove’s top ten list of articles for 2015… 

10. Virus Diseases (2980 views)

 Virus Diseases

Virus Diseases. 16 July 1929. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p.9.

Virus diseases jumped up the list from 24 to 10. The article is a fascinating report on a lecture delivered by Dr Bertram Dickson, discussing theories of inter-species viral spread. Dr Dickson was head of the Division of Plant Industry at the Council for Scientific Research (later the CSIRO) and would be so until his retirement in 1951. You can find more on Dr Dickson via Trove’s people zone.

9. Three dead after dog falls 13 floors (3300 views)

 Three dead adfter dog falls 13 floors

Three dead after dog falls 13 floors 24 October 1988. The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p.1.

This strange tale of pain and woe was hugely popular in 2014 thanks to a Reddit article and remained well-read in 2015. We hope it goes away soon.

8. Births, Marriages and Deaths (3312 views)

 Births, Marriages And Deaths

Family Notices. 3 June 1948. Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p.36.

This article was a favourite amongst family historians in 2015. We’re not sure which family, as there are quite a few names that the Trove community has cited using tags, lists and comments. We love to see articles that are heavily annotated, edited and read like this one. It shows what is possible through the good work of the Trove community. 

7. Our Aboriginals (3389 views)

 Our Aboriginals

Our Aboriginals. 6 May 1925. Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), p.4.

This article from 1925 highlights the maltreatment of indigenous people in Australian over long period. Not just through violence but also through ignorance. 

6. Vietnam forces Memorial (4028 views)

 Thos who served

Vietnam Forces Memorial Those Who Served. 3 October 1992. The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p.51.

Published in 1992, this article contains a complete list of those who served in the Australian Defence Force during the Vietnam War period. More information on the service men and women who served can be found at the National War Memorial’s Vietnam Veterans Nominal Roll.   

5. Bitten by Severed Snake’s Head (4465 views)

 Bitten by Severed Snake's Head

Bitten By Severed Snake's, Head 15 January 1929. Manilla Express (NSW : 1899 - 1954), p.1.

Here’s an odd little piece from Manilla 1929. We’re glad the young man was in good health after the bite. We would hope that when considering playing around with snakes that he was once bitten, twice shy. 

4. Autobiography of a Parrot (7873 views)

 Autobiography of a parrot

Autobiography of a Parrot. 7 September 1928. Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), p.14.

Once again the Trove community has found this 1928 piece of absurd modernist melodrama from Rockhampton’s Morning Bulletin to be one of the most extraordinary articles on Trove. Given his growing fan base we believe the author, Mr Ernest Munck, deserves a much greater score than the measly six the judges provided at the time. We think a good round seven is a much more accurate reflection of the latent genius exhibited.   

3. Aboriginal House Names and Their Meaning (13300)

 Aboriginal house names and their meaning

Aboriginal House Names and Their Meanings. 20 December 1961. The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p.28.

We are happy that this 1961 Women's Weekly article continues to generate a lot of interest. It’s not complete, or even truly reflective of the vast array of Indigenous languages that have existed and continue to exist in post-colonial Australia. Nonetheless, it seems like a good starting point for anyone interested in learning a first nation language.

2. Little Girl Drowned at Helidon. (28037 views)

 Little Girl drowned and Helidon

Little Girl Drowned at Helidon. 22 November 1915. The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p.6.

This little article from the Brisbane Courier was the second most viewed this year. It’s a sad story that was made popular by a ghost story that was making the rounds in March. The story relates to a photo taken at Murphy’s Hole in 2014. The photo (which we will let you find on the web) appears to show two adults and four children mid swim. What’s the problem? There were only three children on the trip…

1. Sleepless for 15 years (157437 views)

 Sleeples for 15 years

Sleepless for 15 Years. 14 January 1930. The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p.13.

So it is the sleepless man that tops our list of most viewed this year.  World War 1 veteran Mr Paul Kern comes top of the list thanks to some internet magic. The article continues to be cited across the web as evidence of the remarkable capacity of the human body to survive an amazing amount of stress. It’s not the only Trove article on Mr Kern; you can read more about the case, including a picture of a 54 year old Mr Kern in this 1941 The World’s News.


Featured Image: Maggie Diaz (1925-), Newspaper seller, Melbourne, ca. 1965, National Library of Australia, nla.obj-152775836