Friday, January 18, 2013

The Bunyip online

The National Library of Australia's website TROVE is a great resource for historians.  The digitised newspapers are a fantastic source of information, everything from birth, death and marriage notices, accidents, stories, social events.  Trove has recently placed copies of the Bunyip newspaper online, starting in 1860 to 1950.   Although a Gawler newspaper you can't help but cover aspects of the Playford area. 

In 1861 a group of local men formed the 'Gawler Humbug Society' and in 1863 one of these, Dr George Nott, with William Barnet, published a newsletter of the group, which was named the 'Bunyip'. The publication, like the group itself, aimed to lampoon and deflate perceived forms of humbug, in particular, the 'humbug' produced in South Australian Parliament. The first issue declared, 'Why the Bunyip? Because the Bunyip is the true type of Australian Humbug!'
Initially published monthly, by January 1866 the title had evolved into Gawler's weekly newspaper. In 1885 the Bunyip became the first country newspaper to sell at the low price of one penny per issue. William Barnet ran the newspaper until his death in 1895, when it passed to his son, Robert Barnet, then in 1917 to another son, Frank Barnet. Ken Barnet became the third generation of the family in the business, and from 1975 John Barnet ran the newspaper.
You can view what years have been digitised by clicking on this link.

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