03 December, 2005

Bligh's notebook

Item 2: List of mutineers - Part 1

The Captains story......

Bligh's notebook and list of Bounty mutineers now digitised

The original notebook that William Bligh of HMS Bounty used to record the events of his epic journey in an open boat across the western Pacific to Timor in 1789 has now been digitised by the National Library.

Bligh based all his subsequent narratives about the mutiny and the voyage from present-day Tonga to Timor on the contents of the notebook which the Library has held since its purchase at auction in the UK in 1976.

Other than a transcription and facsimile of the notebook and the list of mutineers, edited by John Bach and published by Allen and Unwin and the National Library in 1987, this digitisation is the only work derived from the original manuscript.
Bligh's notes detail the voyage in the Bounty's launch from when he and members of the crew loyal to him—put off the ship by the mutineers led by Bligh's second-in-command, Fletcher Christian—sailed to nearby Tofua and then more than 3500 nautical miles to Timor in less than seven weeks. Jennifer Lloyd from the Library's preservation section describes the preparation of the notebook for digitisation as a "major undertaking".

William Bligh (1754–1817) Notebook and list of mutineers, 1789
Unpublished autograph manuscript http://nla.gov.au/nla.ms-ms5393
Item 1 Notebook
Item 2 List of mutineers

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