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Help us to create Australia’s longest daily weather record

To understand extreme conditions in Australia – such as drought, bushfires, heatwaves and floods – we need to look back at these events in the past. But there are a few missing pieces of the puzzle in Australia’s early weather records.

This is where you come in.

Anyone can become a citizen scientist.

These recently recovered weather observations from colonial Adelaide include reference to a ‘holiday’ taken for the departure of Sturt’s expedition into the centre of Australia on 10 August 1844. During this journey, Sturt was stranded for some time by extreme heat. Credit: National Archives of Australia

Join our research team as a volunteer for one of our new weather rescue projects. You don’t need any research experience and you can help us online from the comfort of your home.

Our newest project needs volunteers to help close an eight-year gap in Australia’s daily weather from the earliest colonial years.  

The project involves transcribing gorgeous handwritten journals that our team recently uncovered in Adelaide (pictured, right). Your help in decoding these observations will link together our country’s daily climate from 1843 to 1856.

To get started, visit: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/caitlinhowlett/climate-history-australia


WANT TO GET EVEN MORE involved?

As a volunteer, you can explore fascinating historical records and collections including:

A wood engraving from January 24 1889 in Melbourne, titled “A hot day in town”. Credit: State Library of Victoria
  • handwritten weather records;
  • early newspapers;
  • photographs;
  • artworks;
  • correspondence and accounts from early settlers; and
  • other accounts of colonial scholars.

You’ll be searching these historical records to uncover valuable information about Australia’s turbulent climate history. Volunteers are digging up detailed accounts of floods, drought, locust plagues, bushfires, heatwaves, snow falling in Sydney, and there’s so much more just waiting to be discovered.

You can chose to work on high priority tasks or we can help you find a task that suits your personal interests.

Already a National Library of Australia volunteer Text Corrector? Find out how you can contribute.