World War I collection

The World War I collecting project was initiated by Principal Librarian William Ifould. Ifould’s intention was to acquire the original diaries and letters written during the conflict from servicemen and women returning from the War. Ifould wanted to capture the authentic voices of those who served for future generations.

About the collection

Voices from war, a remarkable collection of over 550 personal accounts that reveal the diversity of service and impact on individuals lives. 

Diarists from World War I

Our diary and letter collections offer a rich and personal insight into those who served in the Great War.

Stories from World War I

Our collection contains many stories – the personal accounts found in diaries, maps that document the progress of the war, newspapers and ephemera that reflect what was happening on the home front, life captured through the photographer’s lens.

Search our diaries

The Library has transcribed the World War I diaries through the generous work of volunteers. Begin searching the diaries on the Transcription website.

World War I research guide

A guide to items in the collection and how to begin your research.

Readings from the World War I diaries

Our diaries are rich in contemporary detail and emotion, both documenting and providing insight into significant events and the minutiae of daily life.

Discover more

Red Cross

One of the country's oldest and most prolific volunteer organisations is the Australian Red Cross Society.

Frank Hurley's WWI photography

Hurley's photographs of the western front in 1917 and the Middle East in 1918 are arresting and iconic.


Saturday 6 October 2018 to Sunday 5 May 2019

Our UNESCO World Heritage collections displayed together for the very first time.