The Norwester

John Oxley Library has recently received a donation of the newspaper The Norwester: A monthly budget of sense and humour.  Copies of this newspaper, dated May 1926, were found rolled up inside the brick wall of an old building in Townsville which was being renovated.  The rolls were labeled with the names of businesses to which the newspapers were meant to be delivered.  One was labeled “Terminus Hotel, Ingham”, and the other “Royal Oak Hotel, Townsville”.

Rolled up editions of the Norwester newspaper.


The Norwester is a newspaper that staff at State Library had not previously known about.  It is possible that these are the only surviving issues. Following their arrival at State Library, the newspapers were carefully unrolled by the library’s Conservation staff, with the result that they can now be read. The Norwester vol. 1 no. 2, May 1926 is 32 pages long and the size of a magazine.  It contains Humour; Trade and Progress; Motors and Motoring; Stamp Collecting; Children’s Page; Digger Doings; Ladies Page; Editor’s Page; Clippings from here, there and everywhere; Cartoons; Illustrations; etc. etc. etc. This newspaper was given to State Library as a result of an advertising campaign run by the National Library of Australia, searching for Australia’s “Missing Newspapers”.  As part of this campaign, State Library of Queensland is actively receiving donations of newspapers which we have not previously held.   If you have a newspaper which is on our “Missing Newspapers” list, or which is not listed on the library’s catalogue, please let us know.

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