If there’s a stack of old newspapers gathering dust under the bed or out in the shed, Australian libraries want to know about it.
The search is continuing for these valuable pieces of our social history, as part of the Australian Newspaper Plan, a nation-wide initiative of state and territory libraries designed to find, collect and preserve access to historic newspapers – and there has already been a significant “find”.
Copies of the Spring Creek Advertiser and Rodney Standard newspaper, dated from 1868-1869, of which there were no known hard copy editions, have been uncovered in Victoria.
National spokeswoman for the ANPlan, Hilary Berthon, of the National Library of Australia, said such finds were crucial pieces in the jigsaw of Australian history. “Newspapers did not just report the news,” she said. “They told stories of their times, through advertisements, photographs and even their design – stories we want to save for all Australians.”
Some of Australia’s most wanted newspapers include:
- Cairns Advocate (1897-1900)
- Croydon Miner (1887-1888)
- Mundic Miner and Etheridge Gazette (1889-1917)
- Pilbarra Goldfields News (1901)
- Renmark Pioneer (1893-1895)
“Often a chance conversation uncovers these wanted papers which may have been lying hidden in someone’s garage, in an elderly person’s collection of keepsakes, or even in the vaults of a local historical society or archive,” Dr Berthon said.
Once the wanted newspapers have been tracked down, they will be saved to ensure their preservation for future generations. Access will be available through the libraries. For a full list of the wanted newspapers, go to www.nla.gov.au/anplan
Sally Hopman, Media Liaison Manager
National Library of Australia
02 6262 1704 or 0401 226 697