Wodonga Council

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Success in winning funds to extend coverage of border district newspapers on Trove

28 May, 2019

Wodonga Historical Society has won a large grant of $14,400 from the Public Record Office, Victoria, Local History Grants Program to have pages from the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express digitised and placed on Trove.

Uta Wiltshire, the secretary of the history society, explains that this digitisation is part of a wider project to extend access to border newspapers on Trove over a longer range of years.

The wider project began last year when Albury and District Historical Society won a substantial grant from the NSW Regional Cultural Fund. Now, with this funding from the Public Record Office, internet users will be able to read free of charge the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express from 1875 to 1938 and the Border Morning Mail from 1938 to 1943.

Deputy Mayor Cr Kat Bennett thanked both historical societies for lobbying government agencies in both states and in securing local funding support.

"Both of the historical societies are small not-for-profit organisations, but they have had the wit and energy to win nearly $100,000," she said.

As a result, the number of years in which border newspapers appear on Trove will be nearly doubled.

"That" Cr Bennett declared, "is quite an achievement for which the communities of the two cities and the border district are grateful."

"This has been a grassroots campaign by grassroots historians with strong interests in local and family history. But it will also be of great help to playwrights, novelists, artists exploring the local past for old familiar stories or new ones."

The digitised newspapers on Trove are searchable by word, topic or phrase.

This means readers are now able to trace easily and access lots of newspaper reports on matters of importance to Albury, Wodonga and beyond.

They can, for example, trace the movement towards federation with local stories about cross-border custom barriers.

They can find out more about the exploits of Ned Kelly. They can trace local families by name and can even locate recipes for Murray Cod pie.

The two historical societies claim for funds on behalf of the border district have been supported by Jennifer Jones at Latrobe University and Bruce Pennay at Charles Sturt University.