A supercentennial trove of compelling stories

On page 31 of the Wednesday 12 July 2017 issue of the Coffs Coast Advocate, its 110th birthday* was announced. What is astounding to note is that it is still possible to read the newspaper in full from 1907 to now. To do so requires an understanding of where to find it.

In 1907, the Coffs Coast Advocate began with a slightly different title – The Coff’s Harbour Advocate and Dorrigo, Orara, Coramba, Bucca Bucca, Woolgoolga, Glenreagh and Lower Clarence Advertizer.  The issues of the paper between 1907 and 1942 are available for reading or searching on the National Library of Australia’s discovery platform, Trove.

(1907, February 12). Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW : 1907 – 1942; 1946 – 1954), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page21430190

There was a publication break during the Second World War, from May 1942 until October 1946, but the geographical coverage of the Coffs Coast remained the same when it resumed.

(1942, April 24). Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW : 1907 – 1942; 1946 – 1954), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page21404236
(1946, October 11). Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW : 1907 – 1942; 1946 – 1954), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page21405089
(1954, December 31). Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW : 1907 – 1942; 1946 – 1954), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page21546986

However it is still possible to explore subsequent issues, copied for reading and preservation onto microfilm. They are accessible at the Harry Bailey Memorial Library in Coffs Harbour. The Library continues add microfilm to its local history collection, and for the digital years this still provides an important backup copy for the newspaper on the Advocate’s own website.

We are fortunate that, by virtue of various tranches of government and other sponsored funding, the newspaper is freely available to read in all of these forms – online, on microfilm and through free delivery to local households since 1985. Using these mechanisms we can ensure that more recent editions are not lost, so that we can browse through the trove of compelling stories and celebrate the paper’s next major anniversary.


* A supercentenarian is acknowledged as the result of surpassing a 110th birthday event.