The National Library of Australia today celebrates Chinese New Year with the digitisation of three of the earliest known Chinese-Australian newspapers.

They are The Chinese Australian Herald, 1894-1923 (Guang yi hua bao), Chinese Times, 1902-1922 (Meilibin bu ai guo bao) and The Chinese Advertiser (1856) which later became the first bilingual newspaper, The English and Chinese Advertiser (1856-8).

All these newspapers are now available through Trove, the National Library’s award-winning free discovery service.  

‘We are delighted to add these Chinese newspaper titles to other community language newspapers already available on Trove,’ Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich said.

‘These newspapers are a rich resource for researchers interested in the history of Chinese migration to Australia and there are over 21,000 pages available across the three titles.’

The English and Chinese Advertiser, for example, was printed by Englishman Robert Bell at the height of the gold rush in Ballarat. He became known as ‘Chinese Bell’ for standing up for the Chinese who were discriminated against and forced to live in special camps.’

The three Chinese newspapers  bring the Trove tally of digitised newspapers to nearly 16 million pages from 843 newspapers.

Like other newspapers delivered through Trove, the text of the Chinese newspapers is fully searchable and available for text correction by Trove users.

Ms Schwirtlich also paid tribute to the Ballarat  Library in Victoria for helping  fund the digitisation of The Chinese Advertiser/The English and Chinese Advertiser and to the Sovereign Hill Museum, the State Library of Victoria and  the State Library of NSW for their support with the project.

  

Media Contact
Sally Hopman                                              T    02 6262 1704  
Media Liaison Manager                                M   0401 226 697  
National Library of Australia                          E    shopman@nla.gov.au

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