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.