Geelong Advertiser … THANK YOU!

It is definitely an early Christmas present – our heartfelt thanks to the National Library of Australia and the State Library of Victoria.  This is what we were promised initially:

And they’ve added a bonus!

As reported in the recent blog, there were lots of very large gaps for the digitised images.  There were 913 issues digitised and online with 1,600 still to come.

I haven’t had time to check them all yet but I have checked up to Wed 31 Dec 1851 and so far all have digitised images.  BUT it appears that we might have ALL of them up to 9 Aug 1856 searchable and digitised!

We know there are still some missing individual issues that we hope will be tracked down and included but apart from those, we can now search and view the Geelong Advertiser [under its various titles] from the FIRST issue 21 November 1840 through to 9 August 1856.  That’s 2,844 issues online!

We really do owe the National Library of Australia and the State Library of Victoria a huge Thank You!

Michael Gandy in Melbourne … update

In less than a week Michael Gandy will be speaking on the first of two days when Melburnians will be able to experience one of the best genealogical speakers in the world!

Important information about locations, access and bookings can be found on the Genealogical Society of Victoria blog.

Personally I’m looking forward to these presentations immensely – it’s not often that we get such a wonderful opportunity right here in Melbourne!

Geelong Advertiser … update – what’s on TROVE!

I must confess to a little frustration at the lack of movement in the Geelong Advertiser being loaded into TROVE after the initial couple of updates.  I did ask a couple of questions recently – whether there was any connection between the questions and the recent flurry of updates I honestly can’t say – I’m just VERY grateful that a lot more has been added!

That said, I was then rather confused at the date range of updates and what was really there when you looked at the detail.  I’m sure others may also be confused so I’ve been doing a bit of work identifying what’s really there and what’s only partially there.

The papers that are currently being scanned and added to TROVE are:


When you follow the above links you can see each date for each month for each title which “appears” in TROVE.  It is not until you click on a specific date that you either see the first page for that date or you are presented with a message that says “This item is part way through the digitisation process.  It will be available when this page passes the final quality control check.  This is likely to be within the next 1-28 days.”

If you search for an entry in any of the three titles for the Geelong Advertiser, some entries will include the phrase “[coming soon]”.  Click on the “[coming soon]” link and you will be presented with the same message as above.

The following table shows the status of the Geelong Advertiser planned for this digitisation group as at Saturday 3 November 2012.  It shows the date ranges that are fully online and those in the [coming soon] category as not yet fully online.  I will try to update it when I become aware of more dates being completed.


Year Date from Date to Title Issues Online Not yet online
1845 Wed 28 May Sat 28 Jun Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate [1845-1847] 10  
1845 Wed 2 Jul Wed 31 Dec Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate [1845-1847]   42
1846 Sat 3 Jan Wed 30 Dec Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate [1845-1847]   100
1847 Sat 2 Jan Tue 26 Oct Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate [1845-1847]   76
1847 Fri 29 Oct Tue 28 Dec Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851] 18  
1848 Tue 4 Jan Sat 30 Dec Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851] 127  
1849 ? Jan ? Mar Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851]   ?
1849 Tue 3 Apr Sat 29 Dec Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851] 134  
1850 Tue 1 Jan Fri 30 Aug Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851] 199  
1850 Mon 2 Sep Mon 30 Dec Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851]   94
1851 Wed 1 Jan Fri 31 Oct Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851]   247
1851 Sat 1 Nov Sat 20 Dec Geelong Advertiser [1847-1851] 42  
1851 Mon 22 Dec Wed 31 Dec Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856]   8
1852 Thu 1 Jan Fri 31 Dec Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856]   303
1853 Sat 1 Jan Thu 28 Jul Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856]   178
1853 Mon 1 Aug Sat 31 Dec Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856] 129  
1854 Wed 4 Jan Tue 28 Feb Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856] 48  
1854 Wed 1 Mar Thu 31 Aug Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856]   156
1854 Fri 1 Sep Sat 30 Dec Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856] 103  
1855 Mon 1 Jan Mon 30 Apr Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856] 103  
1855 Tue 1 May Mon 31 Dec Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856]   209
1856 Tue 1 Jan Sat 9 Aug Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [1851-1856]   187
      TOTAL 913 1600


An important thing to keep in mind – there are random dates that have not been digitised at this stage due to missing issues.  Some are odd dates and others are for a range of dates such as Jan-Mar in 1849 – it is hoped that missing issues will be located and added at a later stage.

In the meantime, enjoy searching the 913 issues of the Addy that are already fully digitised and searchable.  And remember that if you’re totally desperate and find a reference during a search that is not yet available online, the Addy is available on microfilm at various locations including the National Library of Australia, State Library of Victoria, Geelong Heritage Centre, Deakin University Waterfront.

Geelong Advertiser … it’s here!

The first part is here!  So far 1 Nov 1851 – 20 Dec 1851 and I must confess that the first page I looked at was not great quality but there is so much to look forward to.  As you can see from the list below, this is the last part of the second group of papers.

  • Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate (28 May 1845-26 Oct 1847)
  • Geelong Advertiser (29 Oct 1847-20 Dec 1851)
  • Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (22 Dec 1851-9 Aug 1856)

Have a look at Trove Digitised Papers or the summary page.

We can expect notification of additions progressively over the next couple of weeks.


Geelong Advertiser … 24th June 2012 update!

I think we’ve all been holding our breath after the National Library said [in January 2012] the following would occur …

The papers are currently being scanned and hopefully would be completed by the end of the financial year [June 2012].  The papers in this lot are:

    • Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate (28 May 1845-26 Oct 1847)
    • Geelong Advertiser (29 Oct 1847-20 Dec 1851)
    • Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (22 Dec 1851-9 Aug 1856)

Now for the latest news!

It is so close you can smell it!  If you go to TROVE and search for Geelong Advertiser you’ll see what I mean!  For the results which include the title(s) and date range shown above it also shows the magic words [coming soon].

A layman’s interpretation is the OCR / text part is loaded [or in the process of being loaded] and the images will follow.

The bottom line is that it is VERY CLOSE!

I suggest that everyone gets some extra sleep in preparation for some LONG nights searching the Addy.

And for those that want 1843 or 1857 or later – let’s be very grateful that at least it’s started and there will be more to come.

Geelong Advertiser … update!

One thing my previous blog proved – a LOT of people believe that the Geelong Advertiser is an important newspaper and that it should be part of the National Library of Australia Newspaper Digitisation project!

Now for the latest and greatest news!

One member of our Geelong & District Mailing List contacted the National Library about the digitisation of the Geelong Advertiser.  The reply she got included a statement that the Geelong Advertiser WAS included in their 2011-12 schedule and that it had been added to the NLA Future Titles – Titles coming soon web site.

The papers are currently being scanned and hopefully would be completed by the end of the financial year [June 2012].  The papers in this lot are:

  • Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate (28 May 1845-26 Oct 1847)
  • Geelong Advertiser (29 Oct 1847-20 Dec 1851)
  • Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (22 Dec 1851-9 Aug 1856)

It is important to note that this scanning is being funded by the National Library of Australia and not by the State Library of Victoria.  And I guess that also adds weight to our argument on how important these papers are.

This also fits with the statements made when the Digitised Newspapers project was announced at the Genealogy Congress in Darwin in 2006.  At the time I remember being particularly excited when they announced that one key regional newspaper for each state would be selected as part of the pilot project.  For New South Wales it was the Maitland Mercury [where many of my ancestors lived] and for Victoria it was the Geelong Advertiser.  At the time I remember feeling smugly spoilt!  The Maitland Mercury happened but not the Addy.

Now before you start jumping up and down and yelling and saying that the Addy doesn’t appear on the Future Titles web site [that’s what I did!] … if you do a FIND on the page you’ll find them in the strangest place!   They’re listed under South Australia!  I don’t care where they’ve put them – as long as they are there that’s all that matters.  [And AFTER I posted this blog I noticed that the Geelong Advertiser now belongs to Victoria – right where it should be.]

By now you should have noticed that the papers to be scanned commence 28 May 1845 and the Geelong Advertiser began 21 Nov 1840 – so what about the issues 1840-1845?

I’m guessing the decision has been made to not repeat what’s already been done or they’re waiting until they can access all the issues missing between 1840 and 1845.

In my previous blog I mentioned that:

Some issues from the first five years of the Geelong Advertiser were digitised as part of the Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845 project.  It’s available online as single page downloads however it’s not searchable.

Back in 2004 to 2006 I did a lot of work checking these files.  At the time I produced a spreadsheet showing which papers were missing.  I’ve just double checked the spreadsheet and it’s still the same.  I’ll mention a few gaps here but I’ve also uploaded the spreadsheet as an Acrobat file so you can at least check if there are important dates that may already be online.  [ Geelong Advertiser Summary of papers 1840-1845 ]

Some explanations for the “gaps”:

  • There are random omissions – I don’t have an explanation for these.
  • There are NO editions for 1843, hence the jump from 26 Dec 1842 edition No. 110 to 1 Jan 1844 No. 184.
  • There is a strange mixup of edition numbers from 10 Jul 1844 No. 238 to 15 Jul 1844 No. 230.  A sequence of edition numbers if repeated – and also missing first time around.
  • There are some gaps of almost a month throughout 1844 – no explanation.
  • There is no issue No. 315 however this may never have been produced – following the sequence it would have been for 28 May 1845.  You’ll notice that the name changed 28 May 1845 to Geelong Advertiser & Squatters Advocate – they may have just decided to skip an issue number.
  • The planned scanning for NLA commences with this new title on 28 May 1845.

It’s possible that someone on our Geelong & District Mailing List may have done more detailed research into the missing / existing issues and can give us an update.

In the meantime let’s celebrate the imminent digitisation of a good chunk of the Geelong Advertiser.  Our next task is to confirm the plans for 2012-13 – hopefully the scanning won’t stop at 1856.

I know a LOT of people will be getting a LOT of sleepless nights once the Addy hits TROVE – in the meantime you’ve got nearly six months to store up some extra sleep to compensate for the last half of the year!

Geelong Advertiser … where is it?

The banner for the Geelong Advertiser includes the words “Fortis est veritas” or THE TRUTH IS STRONG.

From the Geelong Advertiser web site:

The Geelong Advertiser is Victoria’s oldest morning newspaper, the first edition being published on November 21, 1840.

A mere 171 years ago today, the Geelong Advertiser included a supplement to the (then) standard 4-page issue.  The supplement was this amazing “Map of the Town of Corio (or Geelong) including the Suburbs, the Bay, and the River, 1841 … printed and published for John Pascoe Fawkner by Harrison & Watkins, Corio”.

And what a huge amount of history is in the map and the names associated with it – not least of which is James Harrison a true pioneer of our region.  [Do yourself a favour and actually click on the link to read the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for this truly amazing man!]

So why am I writing this blog today?  There are TWO reasons …

  1. Today I published a blog to announce that we had achieved more than one million records in our Geelong & District database.  This amazing effort is due to a heap of volunteers who have just one aim – to help others research their family and local history – a totally unselfish attitude by all involved.
  2. I’m CROSS – and it’s time I got on my soap box.

ANYONE with an ounce of history running through their veins knows how much history exists in our region.  I have given presentations all over Victoria and also in New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.  Many have been on Geelong and Point Henry (the place of arrival of so many ships bringing immigrants to our shores) but the majority have been on other local and family history subjects.  Without fail the majority of the audience had ancestors who arrived in Geelong / Point Henry.  In June 2011 I gave four presentations to the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory [GSNT] – almost 100% of the audience had Geelong connections!

Using the National Library of Australia catalogue, I have confirmed the following places where people can access the “full” Geelong Advertiser, either on microfilm or hard copy, to do their research:

Of course, being the LONGEST RUNNING morning newspaper in Victoria AND the newspaper covering not just Geelong but all of the western district of Victoria [and across the border into South Australia] you would think it would be a high priority to be included in the wonderful Digitised Australian newspapers web site.

Have a look at this amazing list of places already included in the Victorian newspapers that have been digitised or are on the 2011-12 list to be digitised:





Bacchus Marsh





Bellarine Shire



Box Hill





Buln Buln











East Bourke

East Brighton



Emerald Hill
































Narracan Shire


North Melbourne



Point Lonsdale






Reedy Creek


Rodney Shire





South Bourke

South Brighton

South Melbourne

St Leonards





Swan Hill








Upper Yarra

Violet Town

Wandin Yallock



Werribee Shire

West Gippsland






Yarra Glen




So what’s missing?  GEELONG !

If the Geelong Advertiser was digitised this list of places would double as it covers so many towns and districts in Western Victoria.

Verbally we’ve been told that if the Geelong Advertiser was digitised it would gobble up the annual newspaper digitising budget for the State Library of Victoria and that wouldn’t be fair on every other area of Melbourne and Victoria.  But is that fair on Geelong and half of the rest of Victoria?

What pre-1850 Victorian newspapers have been digitised for the NLA site?

  • 1842: Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser
  • 1846: The Argus

And what about 1850-1860?

  • 1855: The Star [Ballarat]
  • 1856: Williamstown Trade Circular and Williamstown Chronicle

That’s it!  The Port Phillip Herald was digitised some years ago and is available [not free] as part of the Paper of Record web site, hence the reason it’s not included on the NLA site.

Did you know that the Geelong Advertiser published lists of people who shipped gold from the gold-fields to the port of Geelong in 1851-54?  We have 6,624 entries in our Geelong & District database for the gold shipments.  In fact our database includes 29,413 entries transcribed from various editions of the Geelong Advertiser on a variety of subjects.

There is no argument … the Geelong Advertiser should be digitised as part of the National Library Digitised Newspapers project.

What can we do about it?

If you look at the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program for 2011-12 you’ll get an idea from the bottom of the page about the funding sources to get some newspapers into the program.  Of course there is no limit to where funding and/or support can come from:

  • the newspaper [Geelong Advertiser] and associates
  • the local council [City of Greater Geelong] and nearby  and western Victorian municipalities
  • private individuals and organisations
  • Federal and State funding including heritage / history type grants
  • other sources for grants / funding
  • petitioning the State Library of Victoria
  • petitioning State and Federal members of parliament
  • contributions from local societies and organisations

I’m an individual – I can’t do it all [apart from working 5-days a week] – but let’s get something moving!

OK – that’s my soapbox all worn out for now – come on everyone, come up with ideas and actions to help get the Geelong Advertiser digitised for the benefit of ALL researchers.

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that some issues from the first five years of the Geelong Advertiser were digitised as part of the Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845 project.  It’s available online as single page downloads however it’s not searchable.

Australian Medical Pioneers Index

If you haven’t used the Australian Medical Pioneers Index and you’re interested in any 19th century physicians, then you’re really missing out!

This terrific resource was created by our “own” [Geelong & District] Stephen Due from Barwon Health.  Stephen is also responsible for providing our Geelong & District researchers with the digitised copies of the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum annual reports.

In November 2011 Stephen was the speaker at the regular Thursday Talks at the Genealogical Society of Victoria [GSV] – as with many of these talks it was podcast for GSV members.  Unfortunately if you’re not a member of the GSV you can’t access the podcast but for those who ARE members you can download the podcast and enjoy Stephen’s talk in the comfort of your own home.

OK – I confess – I’m biased – I work at the GSV and I’m the one who catalogues and uploads the podcasts along with the millions of entries in the GIN database which members can also access from home!

SO, if you’re trying to work out a great present for someone for Christmas, why not think about a GSV membership?  Of course a new membership also gives you access to the podcasts already on the members menu!

Not that hard: visiting the Genealogical Society of Victoria

If you think that you need to be a member to visit the Genealogical Society of Victoria [GSV] hopefully this blog will encourage you to visit and find out the facts first hand.  The other misconception some people have is that the Society’s resources are limited to Victoria.  In fact the society has wonderful resources for researching ancestors from around the world.

Explore the web site of the GSV to find out all the details: opening times, services, activities, events, bookshop, catalogue and much more. 

This blog isn’t about repeating the information on the GSV web site – it’s aimed at making you feel comfortable about dropping in for a visit.


Level B1, 257 Collins Street, Melbourne


The GSV is located in Emirates House on the south side of Collins Street between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets.  Australia on Collins is almost opposite and Emirates House is just a few doors towards Swanston Street from the pedestrian crossing lights.  [below left and centre]

Go through the sliding glass entrance doors of Emirates House.  [below right]


Once you are in the foyer, DON’T go past the escalators!  Turn LEFT immediately before the jewellers on the left – the lifts are behind the jeweller’s shop.  Press the DOWN button and when you’re in the lift select “B1”.  [below left]

Emirates House runs between Collins Street and Flinders Lane.  If you are coming from the Flinders Street Railway Station, you can enter the building at rear – 257 Flinders Lane.  [below centre]

When you come out of the lift at level B1 you will see the GSV sign in the foyer.  [below right]



Turn left down the corridor – and pause to look at the wonderful family charts on the wall.  There are also photos of all the GSV’s presidents.  [below left]

At the end of the corridor is reception and the bookshop.  Allow plenty of time to browse the wonderful selection of books, CDs, charts, genealogy programs, vouchers and much more.  Have a look at the online GSV bookshop to get an idea of the huge range available … and if what you want is not in stock the GSV may be able to get it in for you.  [below right]



Prospective members may have a brief tour of the library if the staff or volunteers are available.You do not need to be a member of the GSV to use the library – there are day rates and also reciprocal rights for members of nominated interstate societies.  Ask at the reception desk to check the options for you.

Visitors and members are required to wear their name tags or membership cards at all times in the library. 

No bags are permitted in the library – these should be placed in one of the lockers provided.  Clear plastic bags are permitted for your research papers.

Only pencils are permitted in the library – if you don’t have one, you can borrow one from the library information desk.

Members should scan the barcode on their card when they first arrive at the library and at the end of the day when they leave.  [below left and right]




The information and enquiry desk is the first point of call – this is where you book computers and film readers, ask for assistance and advice on using the catalogue and doing your research, and collect your printing and copying.  [below left]

Bookings must be made for using the computers and film readers as there are time limits and specific machines are allocated depending on your area and type of research.  [below centre and right]

All monitors have been upgraded to flat screens providing greater desk-space for everyone.  [below right]


You will also need to book microfilm readers and should check with the information desk on procedures for using microfiche.  [below left]

Many resources are still available on microfiche and microfilm and the GSV holds an extensive collection.  [below centre]

In addition to the film printer, the GSV has a Scanpro film and fiche scanner and printer – digital images can also be saved to USB drives from this equipment.  Check with the information desk to book the Scanpro for short-term use.  [below right]



The GSV meeting room is used for the Thursday lunchtime talks, computer classes, courses and various special interest groups.  It includes full data projection and audio equipment.  Check the GSV web site for information on all activities.  [below left]

You can plan a full day at the GSV – bring your own lunch or make use of the numerous food outlets nearby.  There is a kitchen with tea & coffee making facilities.  Relax and chat with other library users in the lunch area.  [below right]



There is so much to see and do at the Genealogical Society of Victoria – don’t be afraid to visit and find out what you’re missing!

Unlock the Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

Well I really can’t quite believe that it is SEVEN months this week since I first posted the news of the Unlock the Past Victoria Expo to be held in Geelong on Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd September!  And now it’s only a week and a half away.

Already we have 74 exhibitors and lots of people registered.  Don’t forget that if you register before 30th August you get into the Expo for FREE!  And don’t forget to book for any of the sessions you want to attend to ensure you don’t miss out.  There are some free sessions with others at $5 each.

I really hope to see lots of you there.

And just to share something funny with you … this afternoon I was testing some computer equipment we’ll have on the Geelong & District stand so we can do lots of lookups of databases etc.  I had previously used my Netbook and USB dongle for Internet connection.  Unfortunately the Netbook has a rather insignificant display card and when a larger screen is attached for people to view it looks a tad … well … AWFUL!

The screen looks great with my Notebook but I had never used my USB dongle on it.  So, there I was trying to get my Internet connection working on the Notebook computer.  You see, where I live in Ocean Grove, we’re in a shadow and sometimes struggle to get digital TV reception, let alone a wireless Internet connection.  If you can picture me standing on tippy-toes on a chair on the verandah AND holding my Notebook as high as I could while still reaching the touch-pad and keyboard to try to get a connection … well I nearly fell off the chair laughing – it looked pretty silly and obviously my neighbours thought the same.

The good news – it works!

See you there … Susie Z


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 597 other followers