The Library collects and retains permanently every issue of every newspaper in Victoria. This includes all major daily newspapers such as the Herald Sun and The Age.
Our collection also includes all suburban, regional and country newspapers. Additionally, we collect all special-interest newspapers such as sporting, business and religious newspapers, and all of the newspapers serving Victoria’s diverse ethnic communities.
The diversity of Victorian newspapers is reflected by titles such as the Bohemian, the Chinese Times, the Edifier: a weekly record of spiritual life, Abstainer, Licensed Victualler’s Advocate, Workers Voice, Koori Mail and the Victorian Farmers Gazette.
There are many early Victorian newspapers including Victoria’s earliest newspaper, the Melbourne Advertiser, first published on 1 January 1838. Other early newspapers held include the Port Phillip gazette, Port Phillip herald and the first provincial newspaper, the Geelong Advertiser.
Not all Victorian newspapers published between 1850 and 1880 were collected by the Library. However, since legal deposit legislation in 1882, a comprehensive collection has been maintained. In this way the Library is contributing to the preservation of all Australian newspapers by working collaboratively with other state libraries and the National Library in accordance with the Australian newspaper plan.
Newspapers are collected in a range of formats. Mostly these are print or microfilm, but since the 1990s selected newspapers in electronic format have been acquired. Since June 2005 the Library has contributed to the development of online digital newspaper archives through the Australian newspaper digitisation program. This has resulted in many historic Victorian newspapers becoming available online, including a major project commemorating World War I.