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New treasure for archives

Monday, 30th June, 2008

The late Harold Sforcina loved his Barrier Daily Truth and now thanks to his foresight, future generations can find 1930s editions in the local archives. Harold carefully preserved a collection of 1933 editions which that year reported on the "Back to Broken Hill Jubilee celebrations"

His children - Harold and his wife Laurel, and Lorraine Hurley - have now donated them to the Broken Hill Archives. They said they wanted future generations to be able to read actual copies of the BDT from the days when their father enjoyed his daily read.

Harold Senior rolled papers at The Truth and cleaned up around the office during his teenage years. He began work on the mines at 18 and passed away in 1995, aged 88.

"He loved the paper, he loved the Truth," said Lorraine. "He would read it every morning." Harold and Lorraine said it was better for the archives to have their father's collection, which included copies of the original Barrier Miner and Common Cause of the time.

"We knew about the papers all the time and they would only lie around the house somewhere unseen," said Harold.

"Now people can come and have a look at them any time." Lorraine said they were rich in the history of years gone by, covering all manner of events.Harold said it was their gift to Broken Hill.

"As long as they never leave the city," he said. "We would like people to have a look at them and appreciate them. They should be preserved because it's a history of Broken Hill."

Archives Officer Brian Tonkin said the donation was perhaps one of the most significant to date. He said their historical importance to the city's records could not be understated.

"These two bound volumes celebrate Broken Hill's early history, where the journalists recorded people's early memories of the founding of the city," said Mr Tonkin.

"In 1933, three thousand people came back to Broken Hill to celebrate and people could remember the very beginning of the city," he said.

"This is a very significant piece of journalism in celebrating Broken Hill's early history."

Copies of the BDT and other newspapers of the day are available on microfilm but not too many actual copies are on hand, and in such good condition.

Mr Tonkin likened the donation to a "treasure" find.

"This is absolutely huge!" he said.

"Since I've been here, I've never seen an edition in such mint condition."

He said it was also most fortunate, coming just before the 125th Anniversary of the discovery of the Line of Lode.

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