South Eastern Australian Recent Climate History project

The South Eastern Australian Recent Climate History project (SEARCH), was an Australian Research Council Linkage program that ran from 2009 to 2012. Spanning the sciences and the humanities, it drew together a team of leading climate scientists, water managers and historians to better understand south-eastern Australian climate history over past 200 to 500 years. It was the first study of its kind in Australia, and was awarded the Australian Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdiscplinary Research in 2014.

As part of the Early Weather Data stream of SEARCH, data from 39 archival sources were rescued for the southeastern Australian region. These sources cover the period 1788–1859 and varied from farmers' journals to newspaper reports, from official government documents to observatory records. They were mainly recovered from the state libraries of Victoria and New South Wales, as well as the considerable online database at the National Library of Australia. The recovered data included terrestrial temperature, air pressure, rainfall and rainday counts, on hourly to monthly scales.

More Information: 

Information about the data sources and the rescue process can be found in Ashcroft, L., Gergis, J. and Karoly, D.J., 2014b. A historical climate dataset for southeastern Australia. Geosciences Data Journal, 1(2): 158–178, DOI: 10.1002/gdj3.19. The recovered data themselves are available at

Project Status (only for existing data rescue projects): 
Australian Research Council