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From your backyard to the world

Friday, 26 October 2018

TODAY at a special event in Orange the State Library of NSW announced a new partnership with four NSW public libraries that will bring local oral history collections out of the archives and to the world.

Central West Libraries, Ryde Library Service, Wagga Wagga Libraries and Wollongong Libraries will be the first public libraries in Australia to use the State Library’s innovative online tool called Amplify which allows anyone to search, listen to and transcribe local audio collections.

According to State Librarian Dr John Vallance: “Amplify will give communities unparalleled access to their local histories. Over 400 hours of oral histories that document the lives and experiences of local people and events across history, including our recent history, are just waiting to be explored and transcribed.”

“Many of the oral histories held in these public library collections have never been made available online before,” says Dr Vallance.

Some of the first recordings to be made available on Amplify include:

  • moving accounts by 2012 Wagga Wagga flood survivors;
  • fascinating interviews with workers from a WWII small arms factory in Orange;
  • interviews with Italian and Chinese market gardeners in Ryde; and
  • significant migration stories of Indigenous Australians around Illawarra and Wollongong.

To start exploring, visit

Download full media release (PDF 234KB)