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The Sun shines on: Library's appeal raises more than $400,000 to digitise a much-loved newspaper.

Media release

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

Thursday 31 August 2023

State Library Victoria’s End of Financial Year Appeal to digitise The Sun News-Pictorial has raised $420,000 thanks to the generosity of Victorians and Library supporters.

The incredible result means that the Library will now be able to digitise all editions of The Sun from 1922 to 1954: more than 312,566 pages on over 244 master film reels which will then be uploaded and available on Trove.

930 donors dug deep for the appeal including one anonymous donor, a longtime supporter of the Library, who donated $200,000.

State Library Victoria CEO Paul Duldig said the End of Financial Year Appeal was the Library’s most successful appeal to date.

“For much of the 20th century The Sun was Australia’s largest selling daily and it is our most requested newspaper to be digitised. The success of the appeal has greatly exceeded all expectations.”

“To our donors I say thank you on behalf of State Library Victoria. Your generosity ensures the preservation of this iconic Victorian newspaper and will open access beyond the walls of the Library.”

Paul Dee, Senior Librarian Victorian and Australian Collections said work has already begun to prepare the microfilm masters for digitisation.

“We are currently working with the National Library of Australia to commence the digitisation work and we expect The Sun to be available on Trove by the middle of 2024.”

“The Sun was the main publisher of births, deaths and marriages and the first to include the maiden names of married women. Its focus on local content, especially photographs, make it an essential resource for anyone researching their family history or Victoria’s cultural history.”

Launched in 1922, The Sun was Australia’s largest circulation daily with over 650,000 copies sold per day. 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.

Digitisation is possible thanks to a generous donation of the microfilm masters of The Sun from Grace Information Management Solutions. Renowned political journalists Niki Savva and Laurie Oakes who both served as chiefs of the Sun’s Canberra Bureau kindly donated their time as ambassadors of the Library’s appeal.

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