With Anzac Day just around the corner, we take a look at the important role newsmaps played for Australians during World War I.

21 April 2017

Anzac Day is a time to remember and reflect about the great contribution and sacrifices many Australians have made. War was also tough for the families back home, not knowing what their sons, husbands and fathers were going through. Every snippet of news was invaluable and one of the greatest sources of information during World War I were newsmaps.

Newsmaps were intricately detailed illustrated maps published in newspapers showing the location and terrain where the soldiers were stationed overseas so families could track their loved ones.

Preserving this important history, the National Library of Australia (NLA) has a comprehensive collection of newsmaps. These are available to the public through exhibitions and the digital archiving system, Trove.

The NLA’s Curator of Maps, Martin Woods, has chronicled the role of newsmaps during WW1 and the impact they had on the communications industry and the war in his book Where Are Our Boys? In the video below, Martin explains the importance of this unique way of communication and the importance of preserving this valuable history.