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Spelling bees

Join this Vicfix campaign to vanquish typos in historic articles about spelling bees

Vicfix is improving the searchability of digitised newspaper articles and making the hidden details of Victoria's rich history available for everyone.

About spelling bees

Public spelling bees were a popular form of entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These amateur competitions were open to both men and women but were particularly popular with schoolchildren eager to test their learning. Audiences also entered warmly into the spirit of the event, loudly applauding contestants who conquered the spelling of tricky words such as 'consensus', 'solely', 'phlegm' and 'itinerary'.

Spelling bees lost their audience to cinema and dancing in the 1920s. But historic newspapers offer entertaining insights into these public entertainments at the height of their appeal, with details about winners, audience favourites and some of the words that flummoxed contestants.

Contribute to this Vicfix campaign – it's easy!

  • Choose an article listed below and click through to correct it on Trove (see our How-to guide).
  • Add our tag 'vicfix-done' once the whole article is fixed.
  • Share what you've fixed with friends and family.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our enewsletter for Vicfix and other Library news.

Correct articles from one of our other Vicfix correction campaigns.

Design for alphabet, Joseph Laughton, photograph, 1901

Spelling bees

This Vicfix campaign is temporarily unavailable. We apologise for any incovenience - please return later to fix or browse this correction campaign.