Australian Newspaper Plan Annual Report - Introduction

Purpose

This report describes progress with the Australian Newspaper Plan (ANPlan) in 2011/12. The achievements of ANPlan are evaluated against a set of Key Indicators and the goals set out in ANPlan’s Five Year Plan, July 2010 - June 2015 (Appendix A).

Background

ANPlan is a collaboration established by NSLA through which the Australian national, state and territory libraries are comprehensively collecting, preserving and providing access to Australian newspapers. The National Library of Australia (NLA) coordinates the Plan. The National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ) has observer status.

This is the fourth year that ANPlan libraries have reported against the set of Key Indicators developed and agreed by ANPlan libraries in June 2009; and the second year that they have reported on progress with the Five Year Plan (2010-2015).

Significant achievements for 2011/12 include:

  • seven significant newspaper finds (Key Indicator 1) and two major newspaper acquisition projects occurring within ANPlan libraries;
  • significant improvement in the percentages of Australian newspaper titles microfilmed (Key Indicator 3) with the percentages of filmed South Australian titles rising from 62% (last year) to 79% and from 62% (last year) to 80% for ACT newspapers;
  • a substantial increase in the number of digitised newspapers being made accessible on Trove (Key Indicator 4; Five Year Plan), including the first non-English community language newspapers; and no increase in the number of newspapers being digitised outside the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP) framework;
  • a significant quantity of first generation newspaper microfilm on acetate was replaced this year with polyester film (747 reels; Key Indicator 5);
  • for the first year, all ANPlan libraries report being able to store their first generation newspaper microfilm masters under ideal conditions (Key Indicator 7);
  • six ANPlan libraries confirm that 100% of their first generation newspaper microfilm masters are catalogued according to the guidelines which were developed in consultation with all ANPlan libraries in 2006. Last year, only three libraries reported 100% of their first generation newspaper microfilm masters catalogued in this way. Five libraries report that all their microfilm is catalogued in this way (Key Indicators 10 & 11, Five Year Plan);
  • continued outreach to public libraries about using and contributing to digitised newspapers on Trove (Five Year Plan);
  • maintaining public awareness of the role of libraries in collecting, preserving and providing access to newspapers through a range of publicity strategies including publicity about newly digitised newspapers and the ongoing search and rescue campaign to locate missing Australian newspapers (Five Year Plan).

In 2011/12 some progress was made in identifying and finding missing Australian newspapers. Significant progress was reported with preserving Australian newspapers through microfilming. Over the past year, the estimated percentage of newspaper titles microfilmed has risen most markedly for South Australian (from 62% to 79%) and ACT (from 62% to 80%) newspapers, with a small increase in NSW (from 96.8% to 97%) newspapers. This is the first year that data has been made available for Victorian newspapers. Over 2011/12, a significant amount of activity has been directed towards replacing first generation newspaper acetate masters with polyester (State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) 680 reels; State Library of Victoria (SLV) 67 reels).

The number of newspapers which are being made accessible through Trove has more than doubled since last year (from 138 to 282) with a significant number being digitised through the ANDP’s ‘contributor model’. Five of the new titles are community language newspapers. Encouragingly, the total number of newspapers which have been digitised, but are not available through Trove, has not increased, indicating that the ANPlan libraries’ endeavours to publicise the benefits of contributing to the ANDP have been successful.

There have been no reported changes in ANPlan libraries’ ability to store hard copy newspapers, with seven of the nine libraries reporting that they are able to store all the newspapers which they hold primary responsibility for under ANPlan optimally. This is the first year that all ANPlan libraries have reported being able to store all their first generation newspaper microfilm masters under ideal environmental conditions for preserving permanent access. Reported storage conditions do vary, however. While the vast majority of microfilm masters for Australian newspapers are owned by ANPlan libraries, the locations of those which are not owned by ANPlan libraries have still not consistently been recorded on the National Bibliographic Database (NBD).

There have been no reported changes with cataloguing hard copy newspaper titles to the NBD with seven out of nine libraries reporting catalogue records for all newspapers published in their state/territory; six of these libraries report the inclusion of detailed and up-to-date holdings information. Over the last year, there has been a significant improvement in the cataloguing of first generation microfilm masters with six ANPlan libraries confirming that all of their first generation newspaper microfilm masters are catalogued according to the current guidelines (last year only three libraries reported this). For the State Library of Tasmania (SLT) and Northern Territory Library (NTL), this is an increase from 0% and 15%, respectively, reported last year. This is the first year that the SLV has reported for this Key Indicator. Improvements were also reported for cataloguing all generations of newspaper microfilm onto the NBD, with five libraries reporting that all microfilm was catalogued in this way. While all digitised newspapers delivered through Trove are catalogued on the NBD according to the current guidelines, digitised newspapers which are not delivered through Trove remain largely uncatalogued.

ANPlan libraries continue to engage with public libraries and the general public about ANDP, missing newspapers and the libraries’ role in collecting, preserving and providing access to newspapers.

Some ANPlan libraries are actively pursuing activities relating to the collection of digital pre-press electronic copies of newspapers.