Australian Embassy

Historic Indonesian Newspaper Now Online

Media Release

20 January 2017

An historic period in South-East Asian history is now preserved for all time, thanks to a joint venture between the National Library of Australia and the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra.

The embassy, through the support of the Ambassador, His Excellency, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, has funded the digitisation of the Indonesian newspaper Berita Repoeblik Indonesia 1945-46 held by the National Library. The newspaper was first published by the Komite Nasional Pusat Indonesia (Indonesian National Committee), the body appointed to assist the President of the newly independent Indonesia in 1945.

Assistant Director-General, Collection Management, at the National Library of Australia, Ms Amelia McKenzie, said this newspaper digitisation was significant because it detailed the formation of the newly independent Indonesian Government.

“It also reported on the support Australia gave to Indonesian independence in 1945,” Ms McKenzie said. “An important period in the history of both our countries.”

She also paid tribute to Indonesian scholar Mr Anthony Liem who initially approached the Indonesian Embassy after discovering the paper was not digitised.

“Mr Liem was working on the 2015 exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Armada Hitam (Black Armada), about the remarkable relationship between the two countries, post Dutch rule,” she said.

“He used scans from our microfiche copy of the Berita Repoeblik Indonesia. But on discovering  it was not available online, he approached the Embassy to request funding so it could be digitised.

“We would like to thank Mr Liem, and the Embassy, for making this happen.” Berita Repoeblik Indonesia can be accessed via the National Library’s Trove service here.

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