The National Library of Australia coordinates a number of online projects bringing together resources from institutions all over the country. One of the most powerful of these is Trove’s digitised newspapers.
The database hosts digitised versions of 216 newspapers from all over the country, including the complete Melbourne Argus from 1848-1856 and many regional newspapers. The project was in beta for some time but is now running as part of the broader Trove website.
All newspapers have been digitised in full and have transcripts produced by OCR (Optical character recognition) software. The small errors produced by this process are corrected voluntarily by people using the site. The community correcting the text is doing a great job but encourage students to take part and correct articles if they use them in their research.
As always with newspaper research, dates are everything and the calendar search option is a great way to look at a range of publications but still target a specific date range. You can also search by state or publication title and then refine by date.
An excellent resource for a many subject areas, Trove’s digitised newspaper are well worth a look.