HISTORY: George Seymour (right) shows Kay Gassan (seated), Karla Chisholm, Jan Downman and Ian Scougall more than a century’s worth of files from hard drives presented to the local historians.
HISTORY: George Seymour (right) shows Kay Gassan (seated), Karla Chisholm, Jan Downman and Ian Scougall more than a century’s worth of files from hard drives presented to the local historians. Robyne Cuerel

History at touch of button

DUSTY records from Maryborough City Council dating back to 1862 have been turned into digital copies and donated to the city's biggest historical groups.

Microfiche film versions of the records, which include rates ledgers, water and gas books, and even details of Maryborough's brush with the black plague, have been stored in a vault near Salt Lake City in the United States for more than two decades.

The Genealogical Society of Utah, which chronicles family history across the world, created the copies in 1989 and for the past two years has worked with Fraser Coast Regional Council to turn them in to PDF files.

Until yesterday, the only copy Fraser Coast history buffs had been able to access was a film set given to the council.

Fraser Coast community, culture and family services portfolio councillor George Seymour said the new digital copies meant each society no longer had to share the deteriorating film copies.

Cr Seymour joined Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell yesterday to hand over three external computer hard drives each containing a full set of the records.

The Maryborough Family Heritage Institute, Maryborough Historical Society and the Maryborough and District Family History Society each received a hard drive.

Two more copies of the records will go to the council libraries in Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

"It is Maryborough's history basically, in a box," Kay Gassan from the Maryborough Family Heritage Institute said.

Jan Downman from the Maryborough and District Family History Society said the first thing she would look for among the digital files was previously missing records from 1881, 1882 and 1884.

"It is basically everything that happened in town the council was involved in," she said.



Witness: ‘I never want to hear a scream like that again’

premium_icon Witness: ‘I never want to hear a scream like that again’

A Queensland woman who was next in line has told of the last moments

Push continues to bring Festival of Redheads to Maryborough

premium_icon Push continues to bring Festival of Redheads to Maryborough

Mudgee won the competition with its suggestion of a Festival of Snags

TRIBUTE: Bay music legend dies after cancer battle

premium_icon TRIBUTE: Bay music legend dies after cancer battle

The two spent 22 years making music and travelling across Australia