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Transcripts: About transcription at the State Library

Use this research guide to delve into transcripts of handwritten documents on a variety of topics. More transcripts are linked to relevant records in our catalogue.

Transcription Program

The Library has a Transcription Program in which selected interesting or significant handwritten letters and diaries in our Archival Collection are transcribed, proofread and researched by a team of volunteers. The transcripts can be read as word-searchable PDFs linked to the Library catalogue. Read more about how to volunteer with us.

The Coordinator of the Transcription Program would be pleased to receive suggestions for items to transcribe from the Library's Archival Collection, and would also be pleased to receive electronic transcripts of our archival documents which family historians and researchers may have completed.


Page from an original diary kept by Charlie Johnstone  on the Overland Telegraph Line 1872-73 and the transcribed text which can be read online (D 7265)



First page of 13 year old George Pike's diary of his arrival at Holdfast Bay Glenelg on the ship Fairlie in 1840 (D 6769)

I landed at Holdfast Bay on the 9th of July 1840 from the ship Fairlie of London. there was a flagstaff and two guns and a heap of shot was all to be seen until we went over a sand-hill we then came on a little reed hut where a Mr Catchlove sold grog and bottled ale and porter. we had to be carried on shore from the boat on the sailors backs and left to run where we liked the luggage was put above high water mark and left until we could get a dray to take it up to the Emigration Square and teams were very scarce then and roads bad we all had to walk the most of the way however we got up about 6.30 P.M. and was shown No 34 where we was to take