November 1, 2007: The National Library of Australia has reached a significant milestone with the digitisation of its 100 000th picture.
The photograph, Orphaned Joey Wearing a Winter Overcoat, was taken in 1968 by renowned Australian photo-journalist Jeff Carter. The Carter family looked after injured wildlife at the time. It came to the Library last month as part of an ongoing program of acquisitions from Carter, whose remarkable photographs have been published in National Geographic, Paris Match, Life and in every Australian national magazine. The National Library has 484 of his photographs in its collection.
Carter, born in 1928, began taking photographs while still at high school in Victoria. He began travelling around Australia with his camera and cumbersome ‘portable’ typewriter in 1946, photographing farmhands, drovers, shearers, and miners, and has been on the road ever since. The result is an extraordinary chronicle of 20thcentury Australian life, with a particular focus on the lives of ‘ordinary’ working people.
In 2001 the Library embarked on a major digitisation project to provide improved access to its large and diverse collection. The Library aims to digitise all new picture acquisitions, and materials already in the collection are digitised on the basis of their historical and cultural significance, and likely demand. Other digitised items include rare maps, sheet music, manuscripts, printed works and audio recordings. The digitised collection can be viewed at http://www.nla.gov.au/digicoll/.