Arts / ‘The Bulletin’ is back – online

“STOP the presses”, said staff at the National Library of Australia because Australia’s longest running magazine, “The Bulletin” is back – online.

Photo courtesy of the NLA

The first six years of the magazine often called the “Bushman’s Bible”, which ran from 1880 to 2008, has been digitised and made accessible by the National Library through Trove.

New director-general of the National Library of Australia, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, said: “With these first years of the magazine now available via Trove, a new generation of readers now have access to some of our finest literary content and illustrations – to say nothing of a laugh or two.”

“Banjo Paterson, CJ Dennis, Dorothea Mackellar, Steele Rudd, Katherine Susannah Pritchard were just some of the bylines that graced those early pages,” she said.

The digitisation of the first six years was possible with the support of the State Library of NSW and the online research and publishing tool, AustLit.

“Now, thanks to Federal Government assistance through its Modernisation Fund, we plan to digitise more issues of this quintessentially Australian magazine,” she said.

“The Bulletin” was the magazine of an Australia many of us would recognise. Founded by JF Archibald and John Haynes in 1880, the first magazines were a mix of political comment, news that was often not fit to print and literary content that made it an outstanding platform for young and aspiring writers.

It even rated a mention in DH Lawrence’s 1923 novel, “Kangaroo” — “It [The Bulletin] beat no solemn drums. It had no deadly earnestness. It was just stoical and spitefully humorous.”

By 1961, when it was bought by Australian Consolidated Press, it shifted to a news magazine format under the editorship of Donald Horne.

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