State Library of New South Wales will "tell our stories and listen to your stories" with Centenary diary project

Posted on on 14 November 2013
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The State Library of New South Wales, Australia, will take its collection of First World War diaries on tour, and help people to see if the Library holds one of their ancestor's diaries.

To document the First World War, the State Library of New South Wales began collecting, from 1918, the personal stories of soldiers – their diaries, letters, photographs and drawings — in order to preserve a record of "the war as they actually lived it".

The collection includes some 1,140 volumes of diaries written by over 500 servicemen and women. It is supported by newspapers, photographs, maps and other objects.

On the 11th November 2013, the Library released the names of the diarists, and encouraged people to explore whether they could be descended from the author. The Library did this with the aim of "adding information to these individual stories".


From 2014 to 2019, the Library will take its collections on site, on tour and online in order "to tell our stories, and to listen to your stories". 

At the centre of the Library's commemorations will be our diaries, fully digitised, transcribed and available online.

Onsite exhibitions aim to "engage not only with the experiences of the soldiers through their diaries, but also investigate life on the home front".

First World War collections will be taken to regional New South Wales through curator talks and targeted events.

The Library states that its Centenary programme is "about sharing our stories with all Australians".

To explore the State Library of New South Wales' First World War diary collection, click here.

Source: State Library of New South Wales website

Images courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales website

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News