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 on for these valuable pieces of our social history, as part of the Australian Newspaper Plan (www.nla.gov.au/anplan), a nation-wide initiative of state and territory libraries designed to find, collect and preserve access to historic newspapers.

National spokeswoman for the ANPlan, Cathy Pilgrim, of the National Library of Australia, said newspapers did not just report the news. They told stories of their times, through advertisements, photographs and even their design – stories we want to save for all Australians.

“The aim is to find the thousands of missing pieces in the jigsaw of our history,” she said.

“Local community newspapers are of particular interest because they provide valuable information not covered in the major dailies.”

For the ACT, some of the most wanted missing issues of newspapers include:

* Canberra Post (November-December 1968);
* The Canberra Standard (selected 1983 and 1984 issues);
* Canberra Sunday Post (selected 1969, 1970 and 1974 issues);
* Chinese Canberra Post (10 April 1998)
* The Courier (selected 1972 and 1973 issues).

“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,” Ms Pilgrim said.

Once the wanted newspapers have been tracked down, they will be carefully saved to ensure their preservation for future generations of Australians. Access will be made freely available through the National Library of Australia and state and territory libraries.

For a full list of the wanted newspapers from all states of Australia, go to www.nla.gov.au/anplan

For information on the Australian Newspaper Plan:
Contact Cathy Pilgrim on 02 6262 1514; cpilgrim@nla.gov.au
For information on ACT newspapers:
Contact Julie Whiting on
02 6262 1157; jwhiting@nla.gov.au