Photographic moments in Australian history now available online

Photographic moments in Australian history now available online

August 2, 2013: Fairfax Media today announced that images from the company’s historical glass-plate photographic collection have been digitised and made available online.

The images capture significant events, news and everyday life in Australia during the early 1900s. Many of the images have never before been published.

Fairfax donated more than 18,000 glass-plate photographic negatives to The National Library of Australia in December 2012. Since then, The National Library has been undertaking an extensive project to restore, digitise and catalogue the Fairfax collection.

Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, said: “From the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge to visits by members of the royal family, and a million other great Australian tales in between, these stories can come back to life thanks to support from the National Cultural Heritage Account and the expertise of National Library staff.

“The collection documents a period of significant change and growth in Australia. Covering major political, social and sporting events, the collection offers an invaluable snapshot of life post-Federation, throughout World War I and into the Great Depression.”

Fairfax Media’s Director, Information Services, Chris Berry, said: “The quality and resolution of the digital images is truly stunning and provides an amazing view into the past of the people, places and events.

“We have been thrilled and overwhelmed with the sheer volume of wonderful images coming to light. There are literally thousands of images that are not likely to have been seen since the photographs were originally shot in the early 1900s.

“It is a fantastic result to have this rare, historic collection of images that had previously been in our archives made so readily accessible to every Australian and preserved for posterity,” Mr Berry said.

The collection can now be accessed via Fairfax Syndication as well as the National Library’s online catalogue service, Trove

More images will be added to the collection on a weekly basis as the specialist team at the National Library works through the project.

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Media queries/photographic examples:
Penny Luelf
Communications Manager, Fairfax Media
02 8596 4865

Link to glass plate collection to view examples:

Downloadable PDF  (PDF 77.3KB)