WHAT else happened the day you were married, graduated or had children?
Copies of Ballarat’s history locked deep within the vaults of the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute will soon be offered for sale to help make room for refurbishments in the Sturt Street building.
Thanks to The Courier’s donation, more than a century’s worth of newspapers are currently housed in underground rooms at the institute.
But the need has arisen to dispose of duplicate copies of The Courier ranging from 1960 to 1990.
The sales of newspaper copies will make room for the proposed construction of a climate-controlled chamber for the storage of valuable books, which cannot be stored in the refurbished reading and research area.
Institute president Jill Blee said it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for people to capture a piece of their own history, while helping to preserve Ballarat’s history.
“We’ve got every copy since September 1867, when The Courier first came out,” she said.
“We’ve got duplicates of those (from 1960 onwards) and we’d like to get rid of those.”
Chairman of the marketing committee, John Hoskin, said selling the duplicate copies of The Courier was the right move for the institute.
“Initially someone said we’ll have to pulp them – I said no we won’t,” he said.
“We’ve really got to bite the bullet, because we just don’t have any room.”
Mr Hoskin said the newspaper copies would be a great keepsake for anyone curious about a particular day in history.
“We’ll see if we can interest people to come and buy a copy which coincides with their birthday, their wedding, their graduation or whatever,” he said.
Mr Hoskin said funds raised from sales of the old papers would also contribute towards the underground air-conditioning required for maintaining a low-humidity environment, which is necessary for preserving the institute’s large range of old books.
Anyone interested in obtaining a copy for $5 can register their name and the requested dates with the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute via firstname.lastname@example.org.