Peterborough History Group receives funding for project

The Peterborough History Group can continue to preserve archival items after being awarded more than $12,000 from the federal Community Heritage Grant program.

The funding will assist the group with the digitisation and archival storage for the Peterborough Times Printing Office Collection.

The group was one of only three South Australian recipients, the others being the Embroiderers’ Guild of SA and the History Trust of SA, and, the major recipient.

Items in the collection being preserved and their records transferred online range from 1923 to 2001.

For some items, it is the first time they have been opened.

The group’s volunteers have been able to get a better appreciation for the area’s social and economic history as a result of the project.

One item to spark volunteers’ interest relate to Peterborough police sergeant R.G Wright. Sgt Wright held functions in the early 1930s to raise money for the travelling unemployed.

Judy Evans, the chairperson of the Peterborough History Group, said the grant was important in supporting the effort to preserve the Peterborough Times Office Collection at a grassroots level.

“While the grant provides the funds, the workshop offers the expertise to help us protect our collection and make it accessible while it remains in the local context,” she said.

She said that the support from the community in seeking this grant was paramount to the success of the application.

The ongoing support of the volunteers was an intrinsic element of the success of the project.

Mrs Evans praised the work of the group’s volunteers.

The history group aims to have a database of low-resolution images online, on Trove or its own website, with high-resolution copies available to purchase as a way of funding the group’s continuing work.

The group has previously received $12,000 funding to assist in its preservation work. 

Tours of the print workshop are also offered by the group, from Wednesday to Friday. 

Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, said the CHG programme showed the commitment by the National Library, along with its partner institutions and the Federal Government, in encouraging communities to care for the nation’s heritage, be it in small country towns or capital cities.

CHG is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian government through the Department of Communications and the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; the National Museum of Australia and the National Library.