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Benefactors and donated collections: James & Diana Ramsay Foundation

A look at the major benefactors of the State Library of South Australia

The donations

In 2010 the State Library of South Australia received a donation of $140,000 from the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation towards preserving and providing access to South Australia’s most fragile newspapers.

Copies of the microfilm have been produced and catalogued so that researchers know that they are now available on open access at the State Library.
The master negatives of the microfilm have been sent to the National Library of Australia in Canberra where they will be placed in cold storage for long term preservation under the cooperative Australian Newspaper Preservation Plan.

The Library's collection maintenance staff have also prepared the original newspapers for long-term storage - sandwiching stacks of the newspapers between acid-free coreflute and sealing them in polypropylene, a process known as shrink-wrapping.

In June 2009 the Library received $30,000 from the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation. This donation has purchased equipment essential for preserving access to the Library’s South Australiana heritage collections. The equipment includes two more professional digital field recording kits that are lent to community-based oral history projects in return for the resulting recordings being donated to the Library; a second studio turntable and phono preamplifier so that both the Library’s sound preservation studios are equipped to digitise record discs; and an additional high resolution A3 scanner with an automatic document feeder that increases the Library’s capacity to undertake high volume digitising projects.

The gift also enabled the Library to purchase second-hand studio Digital Audio Tape (DAT) players. This format, which was widely used in the 1980s and 1990s, is now obsolete. The Library must ensure that it holds enough units and spare parts to facilitate the ongoing preservation of those DAT sound recordings already in the collection, as well as the number likely to be donated in future.

Newspapers microfilmed

Twelve broadsheet newspapers at risk of disintegration have been preserved to microfilm, salvaging their content for current and future generations.
Blyth Agriculturalist 1912-1969 - 20 reels
Copper Age 1906-1908 - 1 reel
Daily Herald 1910-1924 - 58 reels
Glenelg Guardian 1914-1936 - 9 reels
Jamestown Star and Farmers’ Journal 1903-1946 - 14 reels
Mining Standard 1904-1909 - 5 reels
South Australian [Official organ of the South Australian Liberal Federation] 1925-1929 -     5 reels
South Australian Times 1883-1885 - 1 reel
Transcontinental Jan-June 1951 - 1 reel
Wakefield Sun 1910-1912 - 1 reel
West Suburban Echo 1923-1924 - 1 reel
West Torrens Gazette 1913-1914 - 1 reel

Microfilming newspapers

A short video showing the steps involved in microfilming newspapers at the State Library of South Australia.