SCOOP: State library Delivers the news...newspaper digitisation going viral!
The State Library of NSW has been funded $22.4 million by the NSW Government for its digitisation program. “Thanks to the support of the NSW Government, we’re fast-tracking our major digitisation program and, over the next four years, six million pages of historic NSW newspapers from the State Library’s unrivalled collections will be digitised and made available online,” says Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive.
With over 60 NSW newspaper titles already digitised, more than 1.5 million pages representing an additional 80 newspaper titles will be accessible online by July 2013. The Library has contracted the National Library of Australia to digitise the newspapers and free access will be provided on the discovery service, Trove, and through the State Library’s website.
According to Minister for the Arts, George Souris: “This significant initiative will produce a rich digital chronicle of our cultural past that is accessible to all, and ensures we preserve a multitude of important local Australian stories from the city to the bush.”
“Online, these newspapers will strengthen communities and support both education and local enterprise,” says Minister Souris.
A State Library team of in-house experts has identified the most in-demand, fragile and valuable items from the collection for digitisation, starting with regional NSW newspapers published during World War I. The first newspaper to go live with the Digital Excellence Project funding from the NSW state government was the Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder and, it was followed by issues of the
- Albury banner and Wodonga express
- Narandera argus and Riverina advertiser
- Narromine news and Trangie advocate
- Braidwood dispatch & mining journal
Local newspapers provide a remarkable insight into our past, including important community events of the day, and they are a valuable resource for students and teachers, family historians, local researchers and history enthusiasts.
Ellen and I were just looking at some issues of the Narandera argus and saw articles listing current grog prices, health cures, land releases and headline news. The advertisements are particularly interesting because of the reflection they provide of the social mores and expectations of the time. I can't wait for people to start doing text corrections on those grog prices!
There is more information on the National Library's website: NSW newspapers currently online can be accessed via Trove at www.trove.nla.gov.au and there is a listing of the titles already digitised. To keep tabs on forthcoming titles check out the listing on the New Titles Coming page. The digitisation of newspaper titles followed by the wording, State Library of New South Wales Digital Excellence Project is funded by the State Library and the Government of NSW.
Thanks for the opportunity to 'guest blog' about my favourite project,
Jerelynn Brown, Manager, Collection Services, State Library of NSW
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