Fairfax donates photo archive to National Library

Fairfax Media has donated thirty years of photograph negatives to the National Library of Australia, which will be given government funding to create publicly accessible digital copies of the images.

The announcement:

Fairfax Media has today donated its collection of photographic glass plate negatives to the National Library of Australia. With the assistance of Government funding, the National Library of Australia will digitise the collection and make it publicly available.

The collection consists of about 13,000 glass photographic negatives from the early 1900s to the 1930s. It is a unique survey of Australian photography and photojournalism and provides a fascinating and moving record of Australian life and history. The collection documents the cultural, social and physical landscape during a period of significant change and growth in Australia. Images range from politics, people and social effects related to post-Federation, World War I and the Great Depression, through to the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the built environment, sporting and artistic events and personalities, aviation and exploration, as well as the social lives of ordinary Australians.

Ryan Stokes, Chairman of the National Library of Australia Council and Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, Director General, accepted the donation at an event in Sydney today hosted by Chief Executive and Managing Director Fairfax Media, Greg Hywood.

Greg Hywood said: “We’re thrilled that the National Library of Australia is embarking on this important project to digitise these national treasures and make them publicly available. The collection is of great significance to Fairfax and we look forward to sharing it with the Australian public.”

The National Library of Australia will catalogue and digitise the photographic collection and make it available on via national and international services including the National Library of Australia’s website, online catalogue, national discovery service Trove, and various search engines.

Source: Fairfax press release

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