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With more than 130 million articles from over 700 newspaper titles from every Australian state and territory already delivered online, Trove provides online access to an unprecedented quantity and range of Australia’s newspaper heritage.
AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER DIGITISATION PROGRAM

While this is an extremely worthy statement, we can’t count our own paper the Moruya Examiner as one of those 700+ newspaper titles that are currently online. If you are interested in family history, the social history of the Eurobodalla District or the growth of the district you will find only occasional reference to it in Australia’s largest online resource.

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The Moruya Examiner is one of the very few regional newspapers not yet digitised.

To read the list of the many, many newspapers that have already been digitised and are available on TROVE click here. You will notice that  our shire is surrounded by shires in which smaller towns whose historic newspapers have long been digitised and are publicly available for research – Cobargo (Cobargo Chronicle), Bega (The Bega Budget), Bombala (The Bombala Times), Shoalhaven ( The Shoalhaven Telegraph) and Braidwood (The Braidwood Review and District Advocate).

Currently the only newspaper in the Eurobodalla Shire that is digitised is the Moruya Times and South Coast Journal – a short-lived paper of only 66 issues over a 27 year period (1888 -1915).

This situation needs to be remedied as soon as possible. As a community we need to let members of the State Library of NSW  (SLNSW) and the National Library of Australia (NLA) know that we value our newspaper and that we see it as an extremely valuable community resource. Because of the vital historical, genealogical and geographic importance ( reasons outlined below) I urge you to support us in getting our paper onto TROVE.

Digitisation of the Moruya Examiner will be a recognition of the newspaper’s local, colonial and state significance. It will also provide important public access to important historical documents of high local interest.

What should I do?

1.Read the full reasons (below) why we need to have the Moruya Examiner digitised and fill out the form. Use any of the material below and don’t forget to personalise it by adding things that you would find significant in early editions of the paper – family events, history of sporting associations, your community’s attitudes to state, federal and world events etc.
Note: The official criteria from the National Library of Australia are here.

To go to the form CLICK HERE

2. Seek support from your local librarians. Contact details here
3. Gain support from your local councillors. Council email addresses can be found here.
4. Ensure that our representatives at both state and federal level are aware of both the importance and potential benefits of this community asset.
5. Ask your local historical society or family history society to support this initiative. ( See links below)
6. Share this post with your friends and social networks. Ask them to become involved.

Historical Significance: The Moruya Examiner, first published in 1863 and still being published today, is one of Australia’s earliest and ongoing regional newspapers.

The paper is particularly important as Moruya has been the administrative and service centre of the Eurobodalla region from Moruya’s early days in the 1850s. The earliest papers, from the 1860s, are of immense significance as they provide a written record the growth of the region and of the emerging industries.

The Moruya Examiner provides invaluable insights into local attitudes to state, national and international events – Federation, Protectionism the White Australia Policy, World War1 etc – by looking at these events through local points of view. The Moruya Examiner also provides incredibly rich and deep knowledge of the social history of the growing rural communities in the Eurobodalla region.

Genealogical Significance: Researchers today as not just looking to find the dates of their ancestor’s births, marriages and deaths, they are interested in finding a picture of their life, the community they lived in and the local events they may well have enjoyed and participated in. Early newspapers are a great source of this information. A regular feature of the Moruya Examiner was reports from “Our Correspondent.” Correspondents wrote from each village in the area telling of the people and events that were happening. They tell us for example who played in the band at a local dance, who attended, what they wore and much more. You will often find a full description of a wedding right down to the detail of what gifts were given and by whom.

Geographical Significance: The Examiner is a geographically significant newspaper, being the major newspaper on the NSW South Coast – from Milton to Tilba – and it remains as one of the very few major regional newspapers that is not digitised at all.

Recommendation: The digitisation of this extremely significant newspaper would provide invaluable insights into the social history of the Eurobodalla region, assist the growing number of family historians and enable deeper research into the area’s history to be done at all levels – from school students to historians.

Local Historical Society Links

Moruya and District Historical Society
Moruya And District Historical Society Facebook
Clyde River and Batemans Bay HS
Old Courthouse Museum, Batemans Bay Facebook
Narooma History In Photos Facebook
Rosedale Association Inc
Milton Ulladulla Historical Society Inc

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4 comments

  1. Newspapers are a most valuable source of information for genealogists – especially when official information is no longer available. It also adds the meat to the family story when writing the family history.

  2. It certainly does add meat. I particularly like the lengthy obits and the wonderful wedding notices – right down to who gave what. That level of information adds real texture to family histories. And don’t fogey the fold amily secrets suddenly exposed.

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