The Mount Gambier Library participates in South Australia’s History Festival each year throughout the month of May. The event provides an opportunity to celebrate the region’s historical places, people and events with a themed emphasis on ‘preserving the past’.
A series of workshops and lessons will take place at the library during history month, including local and family history research with Local History Officer Danni Reade.
Sessions include digitisation, family tree planning, digital newspapers (TROVE), land title and historic homes, pioneers of Mount Gambier school tours and a special after hours event on the treasures of Mount Gambier Library’s history collection. - Library Manager Georgina Davison.
History month was launched on Monday 6 May 2019, with the unveiling of a new Zeta Digital Scanner sponsored by OneFortyOne. The scanner allows for the safe and efficient scanning of delicate historical documents such as ledgers, books, photographs and negatives.
“The overhead scanner enables users to lay the documents up, rather than face down and flatten onto a scanner or photocopier. The quality of scan is outstanding and enables Optical Character Recognition for more accurate searching. The Zeta Scanner can even detect ‘foreign objects’ such as fingers or hands holding the item and remove these from the scan.”
“It stemmed from a partnership developed during a project in 2015, when the Mount Gambier Library was approached by Forestry-SA to digitise a collection of over 3,000 forestry photographs spanning from the early 1900s to 1983.”
Forestry is a major industry in the region, therefore the importance of preserving historical images is significant not only to our region, but to the wider community.
“For nine months dedicated volunteers with forestry backgrounds digitised, identified and recorded the collection which is now available via the Library’s website for the world to access,” Mrs Davison said.
The extensive pictorial collection is available for public viewing online at http://www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/library
Following this project, OneFortyOne was keen to give back to the library, and in turn, the public, by providing funding for the new high-tech scanner.
“Many of our people in both the forests and the mill are second and third generation forestry and timber workers. It was really important to us to help preserve and make history available now and for future generations,” OneFortyOne’s General Manager Jubilee Site Sawmill Paul Hartung said.
The Zeta Scanner is accessible to the community during library opening hours. Step by step instructions and an initial demonstration are available.
A History Month brochure containing details of all events and workshops can be collected from the Mount Gambier Library or found online at http://www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/library