Tuesday, March 4, 2014

State Library of NSW WW1 Diaries

At the end of the War, in 1918, the State Library embarked on an extraordinary collecting drive for soldier’s diaries, led by principal librarian William Ifould who recognised their historic value for future generations. Ifould believed the records should be “permanently preserved [in the Mitchell Library] with the diaries and journals of all the great Australian explorers, navigators, and statesmen and others whose names will be forever connected with the history of the Commonwealth.”

The Library has been adding to this extensive WWI collection of diaries, letters and related materials including maps, photographs, artworks, posters, books and objects since 1918.

The Library now holds over 1,100 WWI diaries by soldiers, doctors, nurses, stretcher bearers, journalists and artists from right across Australia and New Zealand. The diaries hold compelling personal stories of conflict, mateship and adventure!

The WWI diaries are now being digitised and transcribed, to be freely available on the State Library's new website, to be launched in July 2014 as part of its WWI centenary program (2014-2019).

You can search the ever-growing list of names for someone you may know at http://ccc.sl.nsw.gov.au/ , but the State Library would also like to hear from anyone that is able to add to their information. Check the list of names on the website and perhaps you can add your stories and photos of your loved one – how was their role in WW1 commemorated and what happened to those who returned home?

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