SEARCH volunteers unearth vital climate data


An end to the drought. Excerpt from the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Thursday 13 June 1839 (Click to enlarge)

A team of volunteers at the State Library of New South Wales has been hard at work sourcing valuable information about climate conditions in the early years of the colony at Sydney.

The volunteers have been examining editions of Australia’s first newspaper, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, looking for information about weather conditions in the colony during 1838 and 1839, which have been identified as drought years.

The volunteers have unearthed many meteorological tables from each month of the target years, as well as stories about how the weather affected the colony.

This very useful material will allow the project team to reconstruct the weather conditions during the period.

The team has been conducting their research using the National Library of Australia’s Trove Australian Newspapers database. Trove is an important project to digitise Australia’s early newspapers from 1803 to the mid 1950s.

If you would like to be involved as a volunteer, please contact the SEARCH team on info@climatehistory.com.au.