The diary of John Forrest's 1874 trek from Geraldton to South Australia was given to the State Library in 1964.
It is very likely that it was donated by a member of the Forrest family, though at that time there were no computer records and our records from this time are not clear. The diary was amongst a large collection of Forrest family materials, which was transferred from the old library to the new building in the Cultural Centre in 1985, where it was located on Level 4.
At that stage it was still just part of a larger collection that had not been comprehensively described. However in November 2016 this all changed, with the collection more extensively described, the diary identified as part of a valuation process as extremely valuable, and immediately placed in the most secure section of the library.
This diary is one of the treasures of the State Library and the story it tells was crucial in the development of the ‘From another View ‘project. Read a digital copy of the diary. There are also a number of opportunities to see the actual diary. As part of the State Library's From Another View project, the Library will offer six free Open the Archives sessions for the community to view historical items in their original format, including Forrest’s diary from the 1874 trek.
Dates & Times:
20 June and 4 & 18 July - 1pm - 2pm
25 Francis Street
Perth WA 6000