11 Million Australian Newspaper Pages Now Online

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We’ve just added 11.4 million pages of Australian newspaper records to our collections. The records are now available for free at MyHeritage SuperSearch.

Including over 700 Australian newspapers, this phenomenal collection, digitized by the Trove (The National Library of Australia), covers newspapers from 1803 to the mid-20th century. Each Australian state and territory are represented, although the bulk of the collection consists of newspapers from New South Wales and Victoria.

Search the Australian Newspaper collection now

This collection is a treasure trove of information for all Australian researchers — or those with Australian heritage — looking to add to the rich fabric of their family history and fill in missing details. Newspapers are fantastic sources of genealogical and family history information. Birth, marriage and death announcements, and obituaries found in newspapers are commonly used resources for genealogy. However, your ancestors may also be mentioned in articles on local news and events (i.e. social, community, school, sport, or business related events).

In the next few months, we will add 5 million new pages to this collection. This collection will also soon be matched with all family trees on MyHeritage.

Here are a few interesting examples from the collection:

In the following example from the Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW) of August 7, 1927, you can see the styles of times.

This article from the Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) of July 16, 1929, reports on a lecture delivered by Dr. Bertram Dickson, discussing theories of interspecies viral spread. At the time, he headed the Division of Plant Industry at the Council for Scientific Research.

Another interesting example, covered by the National Library of Australia website,  shows how a digital record from the Australian newspaper collection helped a man named Ivan to change people’s lives for the better:

Back in 1842, Corporal John Coles was in Adelaide preparing for the second firing of his cannon in a salute to honor the birth of the Duke of Cornwall. The gunpowder exploded, and Corporal Coles lost the fingers of his right hand.

Two years later, in 1844, a surgeon dentist named Robert Hasting Norman, came to Adelaide to establish the colony’s first dental practice. He had a particular interest in carving objects in ivory and bone.

Norman was especially interested in practical applications of his carving. The Governor of South Australia, Sir George Grey, sponsored the dentist to construct a prosthetic hand for Corporal Coles. The hand was used by Coles for 42 years until his death in 1886.

Over a century later, artist and engineer Ivan Owen began working on a mechanical hand for a costume. His project gained visibility via an online video, and he started working with others to create a mechanical prosthetic based on his design. He researched historical models of body-powered hand designs, leading him to the story of the Coles Hand. For more information, Ivan searched newspaper articles on the design of Cole’s mechanical hand. The articles provided details about the materials used and how the mechanism worked so that Ivan could apply them to his model.

Some 168 years after Coles first used his prosthetic hand, Ivan created a cheaper prosthetic building on Cole’s model but using today’s modern technologies.  Learning about the past can effect modern ideas.

There are many gems, just like this one, waiting to be discovered in this vast collection of Australian newspapers. These records may be of extraordinary interest to family historians interested in the early history of life in Australia.

We invite everyone looking for an insight into Australia and its people to search our Australian newspaper collection today. Let us know what you discover!

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  • Carmel Galvin


    May 30, 2016

    Trove is a free resource provided by the National Library of Australia.
    Create a free account and join the thousands of text correctors who help improve this service.
    Advanced search parameters are available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/search?adv=y

  • Mary Ann Mooney


    May 30, 2016

    To Carmel Galvin, Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mary Ann Mooney