What we need:
- NLA text correction volunteers who are interested in exploring early newspaper accounts of our climate history.
- These articles are available via the NLA’s Trove newspaper database, accessible either from the library, or from home.
- Examine publications from Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia between 1803 and 1880.
- Tag any articles covering significant weather events, according to the keywords:
|climate||drought relief||heavy rain||high seas||evaporation|
|temperature||cattle in distress||flood||violent storm||Charles Todd|
|thermometer||losses of stock||hail||gale||Clement Wragge|
|barometer||starving stock||cyclone||squall||Thomas Brisbane|
|heat||dry period||hurricane||frost||Robert L.J. Ellery|
|fire||shortage of water||tornado||sleet||William Dawes|
|bushfire||poor harvest||snow||icebergs||William Stanley Jevons|
|drought||loss of maize||blizzard||thunder||W.S. Scott|
|failed crops||hot wind||thunder storm||lake level||G.R. Smalley|
|dust storm||excessive heat||cold weather||river level||H.C. Russell|
|hot wind||praying for rain||landslide||flood||George Neumayer|
|heatwave||Days of Humiliation||rain||fog||Robert Brough Smyth|
|abundant harvest||failed crops||deluge||Lake George||Sir George Kingston|
|dry wells||sunstroke||caterpillar plague||Lake Bathurst||Francis Abbott|
|thirst||plague||locust plague||Murray River||Edmund O’Donnell|
|arid||dry ground||lightening||Darling River||observatories|
What we’re trying to find out
We want to know more about significant weather events recorded in our early newspapers, and how fledgling settlements coped with these extremes, eg:
- How did drought affect early settlements in Australia?
- What were settlers’ experiences of floods?
- How did weather extremes impact on stock and crops?
How you can help our project:
- Your work will enable our research team and other volunteers to access a feed of documentary accounts of weather events during early European settlement.
- Researchers will combine these accounts with early weather station data and information from palaeoclimate records (eg. tree rings, coral and cave formations).
- This information will help us reconstruct South Eastern Australia’s climate history, so we can establish how current changes can be viewed in the context of long-term natural variability.
- This climate history tagging project will complement the excellent work of the NLA’s Trove text correction volunteers and will showcase the historical newspaper collection and its importance to our understanding of climate history.
If volunteers have any queries, or would like to provide voluntary library research assistance to the project in other areas, they can direct questions to the project team.