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How Victorians can help save The Sun: Library appeals for funds to digitise The Sun News-Pictorial

Media release

This is an archived media release. Links were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed or expired.

Thursday 13 April 2023


State Library Victoria has today launched its End of Financial Year Appeal for 2023 which aims to raise funds to digitise major Victorian newspaper, The Sun News-Pictorial (1922-1990), during the period 1922–1954, preserving its pages and the stories within for generations to come.  

From bushfires and floods to footy victories and Melbourne Cup surprises; from suburban beauty queens to city riots, The Sun News-Pictorial shows Victorian life as it was, in a way that all Victorians could enjoy, providing insights into daily life that were not captured in any other publication. 

Launched in 1922, and commonly known as The Sun, it was Australia’s largest circulation daily with over 650,000 copies sold per day, yet it is the only major Melbourne paper not digitised on Trove, Australia’s online archive. Victorian newspapers receive an average of 10 million page views per year. 

Not surprisingly, The Sun News-Pictorial is the most requested newspaper to be digitised. This campaign will help address that and follows a generous donation of microfilms from Grace Information Management Solutions, including the microfilm masters of The Sun. 

State Library Victoria CEO Paul Duldig said the newspaper deserves to be preserved.

“The first edition of The Sun was published just over 100 years ago. Throughout the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s it was the most popular newspaper across Victoria and it’s now the paper that is most often requested in digitised form.

“While The Sun reported on international news, politics and other big stories, a large portion of the paper captured the way Victorians lived, recording everyday scenes of people and places that were important at the time: local sporting matches, social events, beachgoers at St Kilda.

“It is this localised content and level of detail that makes the Sun incredibly valuable to both everyday citizens, families and academic historians alike.”

Paul Dee, Senior Librarian Victorian and Australian Collections said there would be an enormous gap in Victoria’s cultural memory if The Sun wasn’t preserved.

“The whole community’s experience is reflected in those pages. You can’t do research, personal or academic, without referring back to The Sun.

“It was the paper that everyone in the family could enjoy; it was the first daily newspaper to make photographs a significant part its pages and became the main publisher of births, deaths and marriages.

“The only known copies of this influential newspaper exist on microfilm and in hard copy at State Library Victoria, which means that most Victorians cannot access this paper easily.”

The End of Financial Year Appeal will allow the State Library to digitise the microfilm masters and open up access to the paper online.

Donations can be made at slv.vic.gov.au/appeal

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