Multicultural newspapers now available online on Trove

Newspapers that tell Australia’s multicultural stories in their own language are now available online through the National Library of Australia’s award-winning Trove discovery service.

Under the National Library’s Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program, selected German, Italian and Estonian community newspapers have now been digitised. They include German newspapers The Adelaider Deutsche Zeitung (1851 and 1860-62), Suedaustralische Zeitung/ Sud-Australische Zeitung (1850-1851), Sud-Australische Zeitung (1860-1874), an Italian newspaper, Il Giornale Italiano (The Italian Journal) (1932-1940) and an Estonian newspaper, Meie Kodu (Our Home – 1949-1954).

Director of Digitisation and Photography at the National Library of Australia, Wan Wong, said these were the first non-English language newspapers to be delivered through Trove, the National Library’s free discovery service.
‘These newspapers reflect the diversity of the Australian community in its early years,’ she said. ‘They provide an alternative glimpse into our history, telling the migrant experience in their own language.’

The oldest newspapers, from Germany, date back to May 1850. Although they focused mainly on news from the homeland, they also found room for market prices and ads for pills and ointments.

The first edition of the Italian Journal describes itself as ‘non-political, non-partisan, non-sectarian but bright, breezy, newsy and fearless ….’ it was specifically designed for the thousands of Italian workers who migrated to Australia. Content ranged from headlines urging readers to rely on Mussolini to save world peace to recipes for fish with baked potatoes.

The Estonian paper, Meie Kodu, which is still published today, acknowledged, in its first issue in 1949, that publication may be an ambitious venture with the total number of Estonians in the country at only 3000 – but steadily increasing.

Selection of community language newspapers for this pilot digitisation project was based on whether the titles were microfilmed, their copyright status and on specific interest from local communities.

Through the National Library’s newspaper digitisation project, 7 million pages, from a total of 270 newspapers are available online through Trove. To find these multicultural newspapers search the alphabetical list under “Show all titles” at

Missing home, need news?

You’re a homesick Irish backpacker yearning for some local Celtic content.  Read the latest Irish Times online at the State Library.  Whether on microfilm, newsprint or online, the State Library will give you access to a large array of newspapers, from neighbourhood to international, current or historic. See what’s going on in your home town. You’ll feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                      Most e-newspapers are available only within the  library.  register with the library to access and book library computers.  Access the database from our Electronic Resources e-Newspapers page.

Two new databases for family and social history

Princess Royal Harbour, King George's Sound

Princess Royal Harbour, King George's Sound

The State Library has purchased subscriptions to two new electronic databases. One is the Illustrated London News which covers the period 1842 to 2003. This publication, which reported both British and world events, is a wonderful addition to our collection and will prove useful for both historians and genealogists. Pictured here is an image of Albany which featured on page 13 of the Illustrated London News for January 7, 1865.

In great news for those with Irish ancestry, the other new addition is the Irish Newspaper Archives. This has 18 newspapers from all over Ireland with the earliest newspaper, Freeman’s Journal, dating back to 1763. The database will continue to grow with more newspapers to be added in the near future.

Both databases can be accessed within the State Library building as part of our Family History E-Resources.

Sydney Morning Herald online archive

The State Library has recently purchased the online newspaper archive for the Sydney Morning Herald 1955-1995. The database includes articles, captions, advertisements and birth, marriage and death notices.

Earlier issues of the Sydney Morning Herald are available on the Historic Australian Newspapers website, together with other historic newspapers from around Australia.

The database can be accessed via our website  at How Do I Find – Electronic Resources – e-Newspapers. Please note that access is limited to those searching within the State Library building.

“The West Australian” digital archive now available at for searching in the State Library

Newspaper House, home of The West Australian, 1957

Newspaper House, home of The West Australian, 1957

Interested in searching through back issues of The West Australian?   The West Australian Archive Digital Editions is now available for searching in the State Library.  This database covers all issues of the newspaper from July 2004 until yesterday.  It contains the same content, editorial and photographic material including the classifieds for birth, death and marriage notices, you’ll find in the printed version with the exception of The West Magazine and commercial inserts which are not included.  It can be searched using keywords and articles can be printed.

This database is available on computers within the State Library – you will need to register with the library to access and book library computers.

As of July 2014 State Library members can also access this database from home. Information on who is eligible for membership and how to join is found on our eresources at Home page.

You can find the database via our Electronic Resources e-Newspapers page or from its catalogue record.

Interested in earlier issues?  You can search digitised issues of The West Australian from late 1879 to 1954 on the Digitised newspapers and more section of TROVE.

The Australian Newspapers service [developed by the National library] allows access to historic Australian newspapers digitised as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program. For further information about the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP), view the public website at:

If you need information from issues between 1955 and 2003 they are  available on microfilm (along with earlier and later editions that are also in the online services), you can view the microfilm at the State Library.

If you need help finding information from The West or if you are unable to visit the State Library to use the database or microfilm please contact the State Library’s information services

[Updated 19 October 2011, 2 July 2014]


New databases launched for National Family History Week!

As of today, two exciting new databases have been launched at the State Library just in time for National Family History Week.

17th & 18th Century Burney Collection

This collection has nearly 1 million pages of digitised rare 17th and 18th century material published in Britain and the colonies including pamphlets, broadsides and newspapers.

19th Century British Library Newspapers

This database consists of over 2 million pages of digitised 19th century newspaper titles held in the British Library. Newspapers are from all over Britain including Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as England.

British Newspapers 1600 – 1900

Select this option to search across the two collections at once.

Because there are so many regional newspapers in the database, you have a very good chance of finding references to your ancestors. Even if you can’t find them mentioned, try searching for the name of their town or village and limiting your search to their lifetime to discover local and national events which may have affected them. These collections will also be of enormous interest to historians. For instance, searching for the keywords “Swan River” results in over 5,000 hits.

You can access the new databases from any public computer within the State Library and they are very simple to use. Next time you’re in the State Library, why not pick up one of our promotional bookmarks and have a go.

For information on the wonderful events we have lined up for Family History Week have a look at our website at



All the Western Australian news that’s fit to print (or is that upload)!

You may have noticed some fanfare in the press about Fairfax’s new WA news site… This is only one of several sites specialising in Western Australian News.  For lots of News about WA you can go to:

(Print copies of the West Australian, Sunday Times and WA Business News are available at the State Library)

Need overseas or interstate news?  There’s much more online than Google News Australia!  Try the State Library’s subscription newspaper databases accessible in the Alexander Library Building, use your WA library card to log on to Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre via our Databases From Home, or find out what newspapers are available in Australian Libraries via the National Library of Australian Newspapers Online.


Papers Past

nzt.gifMore than one million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals are available on the National Library of New Zealand website. The collection covers the years 1840 to 1915 and includes publications from all regions of New Zealand. The collection may be browsed by region, date or title, or searched by keyword.  Many Australian news stories are covered as well as births and deaths and some passenger information.

A World of News @ Your Library

Speakers of languages other than English (LOTE) as well as language students, will be pleased to know that the State Library of W.A. carries a large selection of LOTE resources including newspapers, encyclopaedias and dictionaries.

Many foreign language newspapers are published in Australia in Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese, German, Polish and Croatian, to name just a few, and those carried by SLWA can be found in the newspaper collection in the Ground Floor reading room.

The Ground Floor reading room is also home to SLWA’s collection of foreign language encyclopaedias and dictionaries.

SLWA  patrons can also access “Press Display”, an online subscription to newspapers from over twenty countries.

Further LOTE reading can be found in the SLWA bookshop, which carries secondhand LOTE books for sale at very reasonable prices.