Digitisation of Knox's and southern Dandenongs' 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? This 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 Dandenongs communities will make a vital resource 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 Shire of Fern Tree Gully 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 (1947-1954); 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.

Digitisation until recently was provided for by Federal Government funding. From now on only those newspaper titles funded by either State and Local Government, Historical Societies, community groups, donors, or crowdfunding projects are digitised to Trove.  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.

It is quite possible for this to occur. A survey of the five newspapers shows that there are an estimated total of 14,884 pages in 1801 weekly issues to be digitised. It costs $2.31 per page to digitise a newspaper on Trove. This means that it would cost an estimated total of $34,382.04 to digitise the out of copyright run of the five newspapers. Collective funding by both Knox and Yarra Ranges would make this quite achievable. With available donations it would cost Knox less than 0.014% and Yarra Ranges less than 0.0041% of their budgets to fund the digitisation of these valuable newspapers. This is something that could be achieved by the joint funding and progressively over a few years, meaning it would cost the Councils less proportion of their budgets.

In signing this petition we're calling on the local councils, City of Knox & Shire of Yarra Ranges, to consider funding the digitisation of the Shire of Fern Tree Gully's historical local newspapers. Making them searchable anytime, anywhere by anyone.



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