Digitisation of Knox and Dandenong Ranges' historical local newspapers on Trove

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People wish to know the history of their local communities. When did community groups start? What are places and streets named after? When did something happen in someone's life? These and many more questions can be answered by consulting the digitised historical local newspapers on Trove.

Trove is a valuable research resource for community groups and community members that makes this possible. The digitised newspapers allow anyone to conduct historical research anywhere at anytime via an internet enabled device.

Digitising the historical local newspapers for the Knox and southern Dandenong Ranges' communities will make vital resources readily searchable. It will enable the community groups and members to further explore their local identity with convenience. It will also send a message to the world that Knox and southern Dandenongs communities are to be valued and worth further investigation.

There are 5 Knox and Dandenong Ranges' historical local newspapers microfilmed, out of copyright and ready to be digitised. All that is needed is the funding. These are The Mountaineer (1920-1921); The Pilot (1921-1922); Fern Tree Gully news (1923-1947); Mountain district free press (1946-1954); and Ferntree Gully and district times (1953-1954). They are of benefit and interest to many historical societies, Eastern Regional Libraries, schools, local faith communities, Scout groups, sporting clubs and other community groups; as well as local residents, especially family history researchers.

In partnership with community groups, research and cultural organisations, private donors and crowdfunding across Australia, the National Library of Australia has now digitized around 1500 Australian newspapers to Trove. However, there are still thousands of historical newspapers yet to be digitised. Some of the Knox and Dandenong Ranges out-of-copyright newspapers aren’t yet on Trove. With more funding this will be possible. These newspapers are of interest to many in the local Knox and southern Dandenongs' communities. For this reason it would be of value the local Councils providing funding for digitisation of the newspapers.

One of these newspapers has already been funded thanks to your efforts lobbying the Shire of Yarra Ranges and for those providing crowdfunding. In November 2018 the Shire of Yarra Ranges granted the Dandenong Ranges Historical Council (an umbrella group of 4 historical societies, a local action group, and a local branch of the National Trust) with a Grants for Community Grant to help towards seeing the Mountain District Free Press (1946-1954) digitised in 2019.

Parts of of the 4 other dedicated out-of-copyright microfilmed Knox and Dandenong Ranges newspapers have been funded by a Knox City Council grant and community funding and are in process of being digitised. The Mountaineer (1920-21), The Pilot (1921-22), Fern Tree Gully News (1923-1938) and Ferntree Gully and District Times (1953-54) are currently in process of being digitised and should be up on Trove by the end of 2020.

It is quite possible for the the remainder of Fern Tree Gully News (1939-1947) to be digitised in the future. A survey of the rest of the newspaper shows that there are estimated total of 3,602 pages in 415 weekly issues to be digitised. It costs $1.54 per page to digitise a microfilmed newspaper on Trove. We have applied to Public Records Office of Victoria for a Local History Grant for approximately $5,547.08 to digitise the out of copyright run of the Fern Tree Gully News (1939-1947) microfilmed newspaper yet to be digitised.

A Local History Grant has been submitted by Dandenong Ranges Historical Council with Eastern Regional Libraries and Knox Historical Society's support. To make this a success we need support. Please consider signing this petition and encouraging others do so so as well.

There are a number of other microfilmed out-of-copyright newspapers published between 1889-1923 that reported on news in the Oakleigh and Ferntree Gully regions. We'd love to see these digitised in the future with additional funding. This would mean nearly 70 years of the Knox and Dandenong Ranges area's newspapers are readily accessible and conveniently searchable anytime anywhere.

In signing this petition we're calling on the local councils, City of Knox & Shire of Yarra Ranges and Public Records Office of Victoria, to consider funding the digitisation of the Knox and the Dandenong Ranges' historical local newspapers. Making them searchable anytime, anywhere by anyone.