Bligh’s Bounty logbooks recognised by UNESCO

William Bligh's Logbook

The logbooks of William Bligh, which document the most notorious mutiny in history, will be officially inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register today. 

When Master's Mate of the HMS Bounty Fletcher Christian famously forced the captain and his 18 crewmen off the ship on 28 April 1789, Bligh continued to write in his logbook during the gruelling 47-day longboat voyage to Timor, making sure the books were kept secure and dry. 

According to State Librarian John Vallance: “Bligh’s logbooks provide the only record written at the time of the infamous mutiny on the Bounty. We at the Library are delighted that these important pieces have been recognised in this way.” 

This is the ninth of the Library’s collections of international significance to have been recognised by UNESCO.

Bligh’s priceless maritime logbooks were presented to the State Library in 1902 by Bligh’s grandson, and have been kept safe in the Library’s collection ever since.

"Interestingly the days recording the mutiny show signs of water damage, despite the hardship, Bligh was obviously determined to record this dramatic event," said State Library curator Sarah Morley.

Read digitised versions of the logbooks: 1 December 1787-22 October 1788 and 5 April 1789-13 March 1790.

View the media release