Geelong Advertiser … can’t research without it!

Geelong Advertiser 9 January 1841 p1Just 175 years and 3 days ago the first edition of the Geelong Advertiser was published – November 21, 1840 in fact.  It is Victoria’s OLDEST morning newspaper.  The banner for the Geelong Advertiser includes the words “Fortis est veritas” or THE TRUTH IS STRONG.

Map of Corio from the Geelong Advertiser 9 Jan 1841On Saturday January 9, 1841, a supplement to the (then) standard 4-page issue 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!]

We’re celebrating the 175th birthday of this wonderful paper and as a researcher and historian [local and family], I am so fortunate to be able to search and access the digitised version of the Geelong Advertiser from 1840 to 1926.  Of course researchers are greedy and we want more and more to appear online.  Hopefully funds will become available to continue the digitising.

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!

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] the paper is so important to many researchers.

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.

It is full of people and local history – an absolute goldmine for researchers.  If you are researching past 1926, in Victoria the Addy is on microfilm at the State Library of Victoria and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

From all of us … “Happy Birthday to the Geelong Advertiser“!


Geelong Advertiser – get involved in the Poll

Man's best friendWe’re looking for ideas and trying to get a feel for the amount of interest out there – have a look at the summary of our past blogs on the ditigising of the Geelong Advertiser and participate in the online Poll we’ve set up.

Spread the word and the link to this important blog where you can participate in the Poll.

Geelong Advertiser – even more!

CelebrateHave you caught up with what Father Christmas has been up to with the Geelong Advertiser?  If you’ve registered with TROVE / NLA to be notified via email then you’ll know what I’m talking about but you probably don’t know who was hiding in the Santa suit!

You might remember how much we celebrated with the Geelong Advertiser online editions taking us all the way up to the end of World War One.  But have you noticed the change to the dates?

Those dates might continue on from the previous group but the source of funding has changed.  Unfortunately this is not [yet] reflected online and this omission needs to be rectified.

The Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library / Deakin University Library provided funds to take the digital collection of the Geelong Advertiser from 1919 to 1924.

Thank YouOn behalf of all researchers in our region [in fact most of Western Victoria covered by the Geelong Advertiser] we say a huge Thank You.

We have a few ideas for extending that funding and therefore the years covered but this blog should stand on its own as a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU.

See further updates and Poll.

Lots of Geelong Addies!

Old Geelong Advertiser buildingGosh I hope everyone has been following the number of Geelong Advertiser editions added on to Trove / NLA in the last couple of weeks!  I was going to post some messages on our Geelong & District and GDHA Mailing Lists but with the problems on Ancestry that means that all Rootsweb mailing lists are also out of action.  Hence this blog!

If you don’t know how to be on the notification list, go to NLA Newspapers for the Geelong Advertiser [1857-1918] and click on one of the options for Web Feeds.

Since 27 May 2014, this is the list of Addies that have been added online:

  1. From 1859-07-01 to 1859-12-31
  2. From 1860-07-02 to 1860-12-11
  3. From 1906-01-02 to 1906-12-31
  4. From 1908-07-01 to 1908-09-30
  5. From 1910-04-12 to 1910-07-30
  6. From 1910-11-17 to 1911-03-08
  7. From 1913-12-18 to 1913-12-31
  8. From 1860-01-02 to 1860-06-30
  9. From 1860-12-12 to 1861-05-31
  10. From 1864-09-12 to 1865-02-28
  11. From 1865-08-26 to 1866-02-23
  12. From 1866-08-25 to 1867-02-21
  13. From 1867-08-24 to 1868-02-19
  14. From 1871-03-01 to 1871-08-31
  15. From 1872-03-14 to 1872-10-31
  16. From 1875-01-02 to 1875-06-30
  17. From 1881-01-03 to 1881-06-30
  18. From 1884-01-01 to 1884-06-30
  19. From 1885-01-02 to 1885-06-30
  20. From 1885-07-01 to 1885-12-31
  21. From 1886-07-01 to 1886-12-31
  22. From 1902-07-01 to 1902-12-31
  23. From 1903-07-01 to 1904-06-30
  24. From 1904-07-01 to 1904-12-31

Now that’s an impressive list that will keep going for some time to come!

Yeah! We’ve got more Addies!

Police Court Roster July 1859Got home from work late – tired, exhausted, wet & hungry … but that all vanished when I had a quick check of my emails.  That magic email notification I’ve been waiting more than a year to spot!  Notification from the National Library of Australia … Geelong Advertiser … added on 2014-05-27      Yippee!!!!!!!!!!

Before today, we had Addies up to 1856, then 1914-1919.

At the right is the Police Court Roster for July 1859 – that’s right … 1859!

For those who remember the first lot of Addies to come online … if you did a search, there were lots of “Coming Soon” entries – searchable but not yet viewable.

CelebrateAt the moment, they’ve just loaded a full six months of 1859 – searchable AND viewable.  Then if you check some more … I’ve found heaps of searchable but not yet viewable … 1861, 1866, 1873, 1878 … it’s all happening and it’s SO EXCITING!

And don’t forget that we owe a HUGE Thank You to our own State Library of Victoria – without their support we wouldn’t have got this far, let alone the full gamut from 1840 through to 1919 that is all on its way.

We’re spoilt – we KNOW just how magnificent the Geelong Advertiser is for researchers – now the rest of the world can share that awe!

THREE CHEERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update on Geelong Advertiser on TROVE

Geelong Advertiser 9 January 1841 p1It’s so much fun watching the progress of the Geelong Advertiser through TROVE – the anticipation is mounting!  Priority has been given to the years 1914-1918 and this is what has already been completed and available online:

  • 8 Jan 1914 – 24 May 1915
  • 17 Dec 1915 – 31 Mar 1916
  • 14 May 1917 – 31 Dec 1918

And checking the ones still to come, they’re VERY close!  They appear to have been digitised and searches during this period will find the entries marked as [Coming Soon]:

  • 26 May 1915 – 16 Dec 1915 [6,101 entries “coming soon”]
  • 1 Apr 1916 – 13 May 1917 [11,340 entries “coming soon”]

So you know what that means!  Once those ones are finished, they’ll be starting on the rest of the promised Geelong Advertisers … it is so reassuring to look at the NEW TITLES COMING list for the current year:

The following titles are intended to be made available to the public during the coming year [July 2013 to June 2014]. Multiple titles may be processed and made available at any given time. Dates of when specific issues will be available unfortunately cannot be provided.

And find this entry:

Geelong Advertiser 1857 – 1918 National Library of Australia and selected by Australian Newspaper Plan libraries

And when that’s all done we’ll have a complete run from 1840-1918.

And while we’re holding our breath with excitement, I found this reference to the Addy in a book I was indexing – oh how politically INCORRECT our newspapers used to be!


14 May 1942 – Tobacco Shortage Hits Councillors

Cigarettes will in future grace the Bannockburn Council table in place of cigars.  The supply of the latter has run out and as replacement cost is 2 pounds 8 shillings a box, no more will be purchased.  Those Councillors who do not smoke the humble cigarette can, if they so desire, provide their own cigars.  But as Bannockburn is largely composed of Scotchmen, the risk of that is not great.

And before ANYONE complains, that is a direct quote and not something I would DARE to say in mixed company!

Time Capsules and the Geelong Advertiser

Old Geelong Advertiser buildingSometimes when you’re indexing, your mind wanders in strange directions – well mine does anyway.  I index things at random – usually it’s a really good chance to clear your overloaded mind so you can work on another task or project.  It’s one of those terrific “brain-dead” tasks that you can end do while watching a movie.  The eyes read, the fingers move, you turn a page and keep repeating these tasks!

At other times, while you’re indexing it’s a chance to come up with strange ideas and questions – sometimes even rash statements.  So, while I was indexing a book this morning I came up with a rash statement …

I bet the Geelong Advertiser has been placed in more Time Capsules than any other newspaper in Victoria – maybe even Australia!

I agree – that is a VERY rash statement but there is some basis to it:

  • The Geelong Advertiser was the “local” paper for much of Western Victoria for most of the 19th century and beyond
  • The Geelong Advertiser is Victoria’s oldest morning newspaper, the first edition being published on November 21, 1840 and it’s still going

And how on earth do you prove something like that?

We start compiling a list / database – not many entries yet but you can change all of that!  Make use of the Time Capsule form.

And if we have any Addy journalists watching … well you can help even more!!!

Geelong Advertiser: WWI years

Geelong Advertiser 8th June 1918I hope everyone has been keeping tabs on the National Library of Australia / TROVE additions!  If not, you will have missed the start of the 1914-1918 copies of the Geelong Advertiser appearing.

So far the uploads include part of 1917 and 1918 – keep watching and DON’T FORGET to register and do your bit by correcting as many entries as possible to make it easier for others to find their families.

Thank you to the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia – where would we be without them?

I must confess to smirking last Thursday – sitting in the audience listening to an American genealogist – he was SO jealous of our NLA digital newspapers and TROVE!

THE biggest news for Geelong and district

CelebrateI confess – I screamed, I laughed, I shouted for joy, and yes … I was close to tears!  I had just heard the most fantastic news for all local and family history researchers in our region – and I have permission to do this blog.

Some of you who have followed this blog and our mailing list over the years will know how hard we have worked, grovelled and pleaded to get the Geelong Advertiser digitised and available through TROVE.  We eventually succeeded in November last year with the Addy online up to 1856.  We were warned not to expect many more years in a hurry.

At this very moment I’m sitting at the VAFHO State Family History Conference in Ballarat – about to give my talk titled Regional Victoria: a goldfields experience.  At the same time Jenny Higgins from National Library Australia is presenting her paper More than Gold: Treasure from TROVE.  Jenny had asked for an “Announcement” to include in her presentation.  And I had THE most exciting chat with Jenny and I have her permission to post this blog as soon as we’ve both finished our presentations.

You MUST have guessed by now that the exciting news is about the Geelong Advertiser but it’s even better than that!  The Addy will be included in the 1914-1918 papers digitised in the next financial year [July 2013 – June 2014] … AND …

In the same group, the Addy will be digitised from 1857 to 1913.  You heard me!  NOW you understand why I’m so excited!

The Addy will be online from 1840-1918 .. that warrants a BIG celebration!!!!!!!!!!

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!


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