Allan Blackman checks out one of the older editions.
Allan Blackman checks out one of the older editions.

Pride of place on the record

IT WAS a bittersweet day for The Gympie Times yesterday when the daily newspaper handed over its newspaper collection to the Gympie and District Historical Society.

The collection of bound newspapers dates back to the very beginnings of Gympie and is the town's largest historic collection.

The papers record the first steps of the Gold City starting out as Nashville during the gold rush and document all the news up until the late 1990s.

Later copies of The Gympie Times have been recorded in digital format.

The Gympie Times editor Craig Warhurst said it was very sad to see the collection passed on but he was happy it was going to an organisation that could preserve and look after the invaluable resource.

The volumes have had pride of place in a special room in The Gympie Times old office in Mary St.

But with the organisation moving into new premises in Nash St the paper didn't have the facilities to look after the collection.

"The books are magnificent, some of the first papers are very fragile and in leather bound covers," Mr Warhurst said.

"They are an extremely important part of not only Gympie's history but Queensland's history as well.

"Gympie is well known as the town that saved Queensland from bankruptcy during the gold rush and its home of Labor's second Prime Minister Andrew Fisher."

Gympie and District Historical Society secretary Ralph Richardson said they were pleased to take over the collection.

"I think they are a wonderful thing," Mr Richardson said.

The volumes are presently in temporary storage but will eventually be housed in the Gold Room at the museum.

"It has the best atmospheric conditions and the best access," Mr Richardson said.

"We will house them cupboards along the east wall of the Gold Room.

"It will take us about four weeks to have the cupboards reinstalled."

He said the museum had its own reference library and the collection of newspapers would be a major addition to the resource centre.

"We never have enough flood free space but the Gold Room will provide a prominent position that gives the public easy access and is easily supervised," Mr Richardson said.

Gympie Times

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