The Port Lincoln History Group has taken another step towards its goal of digitising old editions of the Port Lincoln Times, thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Lang Foundation.
The history group, with help from the State Library of South Australia, is aiming to digitise copies of the Port Lincoln Times from 1955 to 2002 to be put on the Trove database to be accessible to the public for research and general interest.
The $140,000 project has received a boost as the Lang Foundation will contribute $50,000 to help cover costs.
This is on top of a $25,000 Challenge Grant announced by Community Bank Port Lincoln in November as part of its Community Investment Grants Program.
Foundation director Roger Lang said he believed the history of Port Lincoln was well summed up through the Port Lincoln Times and it was important to ensure it was preserved in digital form.
"It's the bible of everything that happens in Port Lincoln and Lower Eyre Peninsula and to have it recorded and accessible through Trove will make such a wonderful difference for researchers and people looking up family events and things over the years," he said.
"We're very enthusiastic to support the history group in this incredibly good project."
Mr Lang said there was so much history and knowledge of Port Lincoln and the Lower Eyre Peninsula that would be at the fingertips of the wider public, such as the development of the fishing industry over the years.
The Lang Foundation has been a regular contributor to initiatives in the region, including funding a gallery at the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum and the Matthew Flinders Statue on Tasman Terrace, as well as funding support for the SALT Festival.
Group president Chris Mantle said foundation director Roger Lang contacted the history group about 18 months ago, while the group was working on another project to digitise the West Coast Recorder, encouraging them to get the project underway.
He said this latest contribution has helped the history group reach the halfway mark in funding as it aims to create a "community asset" available to everybody on their computers.
"You can search by word, you can find stuff in these papers and you don't have to go down to the library and search through pages," he said.
"It's a great community asset and we're very, very grateful to the Lang Foundation for their donation," he said.
Editions of the Port Lincoln Times from 1927 to 1954 are available on Trove however from 1955 editions fall under Copyright Law.
Mr Mantle said the history group had been in communication with the Port Lincoln Times' owner, Australian Community Media, over the past 12 months with copyright being released to allow for the editions from 1955 to 2002 to be digitised.
He said while the project had reached the halfway mark the history group was calling for groups within the community to come on board to make the project happen.
"We've got a lot of fundraising to go and we'll be making public appeals," he said.
"We'll be looking for other groups and industry, and private sector to help support this project."
The history group is inviting any community contributions towards the project, with all donations being tax deductable, and anyone wanting to learn more invited to email at email@example.com.