The Fairfax Media Archive Project - Where are we up to?

Behind the scenes

Fairfax Archive boxes labelled
Fairfax Archive boxes labelled

The Fairfax Archive team has been working solidly through the collection for 9 months now. With approximately 2000 boxes processed, over 450 series identified, 7500 file level records listed and about 40 kilograms of rusty paper clips removed and replaced, we are on schedule to have the project completed by early 2018.

In archival terms we have done most of the physical arrangement of the archive and now focussing on establishing intellectual control of the archive. Currently we are numbering and labelling the boxes with box numbers being allocated to all file level records. So far we have labelled 1155 boxes, more than half way through the entire collection.

Once numbering is completed we will turn our attention to checking all the data stored in our spreadsheets and Access database, and, where necessary, add additional data to complete the description in preparation for the important task of ingesting the data into our library databases. It is an important stage as we need to ensure the data is structured according to library standards and mapped to the correct database fields. A large part of this archive contains detailed file level descriptions, more than is usually found in the average archive collection. We will be adding to those descriptions, particularly at the series level where we will attempt to give more administrative context around the files as well as making links to other parts of the archive.

The Sun Newspaper logo
The Sun Newspaper logo. Tiles removed from the AssociatedNewspapers building which now form part of the collection

We also will be preparing custom housing for any irregular or oversized items. The collection does comprise a small collection of objects or realia, including printing plates of newspaper mastheads and tiles of the Sun Newspaper logo removed from the Associated Newspapers building.

Elise Watts will be leaving the team at the end of September. She has been a committed and valuable member of the team from the beginning. Chris Snedden has joined our team of volunteers and will assist in the removal of corroding metal fasteners from files. 



Peter Arfanis, Project Lead, State Library of New South Wales, 2017