Historical information

The Warrnambool Examiner was founded by John Wilkinson and Richard Osburne in 1851. After a gap of a couple of years Richard Osburne resumed publication in October 1853 and continued until October 1867. William Fairfax and Henry Laurie then leased the paper (1867 to 1872) before Richard Osburne again became the proprietor from October 1872 to April 1878 and from December 1879 to December 1880 when publication ceased. Richard Osburne was a pioneer settler in Warrnambool, arriving in 1847. He was prominent in community activities in the town and was a most important early historian, publishing his seminal work, ‘The History of Warrnambool’ in 1887, using the Warrnambool Examiner newspapers to assist with this history. Fairfax and Laurie were the proprietors when these papers were printed. William Fairfax was a member of the Fairfax family that were, and still are, associated with the publication of many Australian newspapers and Henry Laurie later became well-known as a Melbourne University Philosophy Professor.


These original newspapers are most important because they contain much information on Warrnambool’s early history and are a primary source for historians. These papers are also of importance to historians today as some parts of these newspapers were not filmed and are not currently available on microfilm. These papers were in a Warrnambool City Council storage area and it is surmised that they have come from the old Warrnambool Museum which no longer exists.

Physical description

These are the original Warrnambool Examiner newspapers from 1st October 1867 to 31st March 1868. They are bound with a tattered cardboard cover, dark blue binding and string. These broadsheet papers are of two pages printed back to back and were published on Tuesdays and Fridays. They are unmarked and generally in good condition but there are some torn pages. There is one loose page.