Thomas Burstow's Rough Diary

The Northern Territory Library holds many items of historic and intrinsic worth to the Northern Territory including a unique handwritten diary by Thomas Burstow. 

Read the poster on Thomas Burstow's rough diary (192.4 kb).

This diary begins with the first Japanese bombing raid over Darwin on 19 February 1942 and continues until 26 March 1942.

The diary is preserved at Northern Territory Library, with a high-resolution digital copy available online for ease of viewing and to protect the delicate original. The diary was also loaned for display at the launch of the Defence of Darwin Experience in 2011.

The national significance of the Burstow Diary was recognised on 14 May 2013, when it was officially accepted into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Australian Memory of the World registry.

The registry recognises, preserves and disseminates information about significant documentary heritage items in Australian institutions.

The diary is recognised alongside such items as the Mabo case manuscripts, the Endeavour journal by James Cook and other important documents.

Go to Territory Stories to read Thomas Burstow's Rough diary air raids on Port Darwin and intermediate alert.

View the UNESCO Certificate (418.3 kb) for the diary.

Last updated: 21 April 2016