Star Observer Archives Are Now Online

Star Observer Archives Are Now Online
Image: Star Observer Archives from 1987, 1990 and 2016

Get ready to dive into an absolute treasure trove! Star Observer is thrilled to announce that the archives of Australia’s beloved LGBTQI magazine are now available online, bringing over four decades of insightful articles, captivating stories, and the telling of historic struggles for equality, and important milestones to your fingertips.  

Every page from the very first issue to the latest edition, is now easily accessible with just a click, allowing you to explore, reminisce, and discover moments in Australia’s queer history like never before. 

“We are thrilled that the Star Observer’s historic archives are finally available online. Thanks to Meta and the Walkley Foundation, our entire collection of back issues has been fully digitised. Now the Star Observer is completely searchable from 1979 to the present. Our archives are an incredible research tool for academics and members of the community alike. Our pages are a rich source of historic records and fabulous memories. Happy hunting!” said publisher Lawrence Gibbons.  

When curators at Sydney’s LGBTQI Museum Qtopia set about working on a living memorial for the lives lost to HIV/AIDS, their first point of reference were the obituaries and World AIDS Day lists published in the Sydney Star Observer’s between 1984-1999.  

The Star Observer archives is a goldmine not just for historians and researchers but also for the community.  

For 45 years, Star Observer has been the journal of record for Australia’s LGBTQI community. Before now, back issues of the magazine were only accessible at libraries or at the Australian Queer Archives, which judiciously archived the Star Observer issues over the past four decades and helped the magazine fill some gaps in the publication’s collection. 

Star Observer was founded in 1979, one year after the first Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras, to give voice to the emerging LGBTQI rights movement in Australia. As the country’s oldest, independent, community-owned publication, Star Observer has been setting Australia’s LGBTQI agenda for over four decades.  

From the fight for decriminalisation of homosexuality, to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, from reporting on anti-LGBTQI attacks, police raids, the fight for marriage equality and the more recent attacks on Drag events and the transgender community, Star Observer has been at the forefront – informing and being the voice of the community. Or as the very first editorial in July 1979 asked us to do – ‘getting our acts together’.  

The digital archives will be available to subscribers, who can browse every edition of the magazine, through its various iterations, from the very first issue published in July 1979.  

The archives can be easily navigated and includes a powerful search functionality. The search tool allows you to search for text in headlines or articles and gives subscribers the option of text or image previews. PDF files of the issues can be downloaded for subscribers who have the necessary permissions. Registered users have access to exclusive features, including private lists that allows you to save pages to uniquely named lists for further reading.  

The archives also come with Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, that reads a page image and transcribes it into text, further optimising searches.  

G’day. You are reading the Star Observer.  

Click here to subscribe!

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