For those researching ancestors from Australia, the National Library of Australia has placed online in digital form newspapers from 1803 to 1954. This wonderful collection has newspapers from New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Not every year with every newspaper is available, but a wide range has been assembled. The scope of this collection has approximately 42 million articles and more are being added every week.
Logging onto the free site is simple with several different methods offered for searching articles. There is a search box where key words can be placed for research. It can be narrowed down by selecting a location, such as New South Wales and a publication date or range of dates. Even if a 'family notice' was sought, that can be indicated.
Another method is by the title of a newspaper and browse all those articles. Another way is by selecting the year, month and date and then all newspapers with articles for that time period appear. For example, requesting April 3, 1899 produced 7 different newspapers from Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart. The final method is by location. A map of Australia is visible and you click on the place you want and all the newspapers and the dates they cover appear. For Tasmania there were twelve different newspapers ranging from 1816 to 1954.
Once an article of interest is selected it is easy to go from up and down on the newspaper page and even to continuing pages. An outstanding feature for the site is that not only can you zoom-in to read an article very clearly, it also has a typed transcription of each article on the left side of the screen. If you wanted to keep a copy of the article or page it can be saved in PDF format to your computer.
Using newspapers are always very helpful to family researchers and the National Library of Australia has made the searching very easy. Even if not looking for a specific individual it is fascinating to read over the papers from other time periods to see what was happening and to discovery more about products in the advertisements people were purchasing.
From the Adelaide paper of April 3, 1899 is an advertisement for men's accessories.