Historic local newspapers can now be read online thanks to an initiative by Wingecarribee Public Libraries, Friends of Wingecarribee Libraries and the National Library of Australia.
Through the National Library’s Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program, the Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (published from 1884 – 1901), Bowral and Robertson Free Press (1901) and Bowral Free Press (1901 – 1906) have been digitised.
Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Information Services Librarian Roxanne Seaward said the program would help to keep history alive for future generations.
“Digitising our early newspapers is an important step in preserving our region’s history, and by using the National Library’s service, we know we’re using a model that works,” she said.
“It’s an incredibly valuable research tool for the community, as all articles in the system are fully text searchable which means you can find relevant information quickly and painlessly.”
The National Library’s Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program is available to all libraries, community groups and other organisations to digitise selected newspaper titles. The service already provides free online access to over nine million pages from over 300 Australian metropolitan and regional newspapers and readers are encouraged to help enhance existing material by subject tagging, text correcting and adding annotations.
The program is closely linked with the Australian Newspaper Plan (www.nla.gov.au/australian-newspaper-plan), a cooperative endeavour to collect, preserve and provide access to Australian newspapers.
Digitised newspapers can be found on the National Library of Australia’s Trove website, http://trove.nla.gov.au, which also stores books, images, maps, music, archives and more. More than 350 million Australian resources are stored on the site, and users can easily find related information across a range of formats by using the search function.
Organisations wanting to contribute to digitising a newspaper can contact the National Library of Australia on (02) 6262 1005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.