The Definitive Algernon Henry Belfield Climate Archive

Algernon Henry Belfield (1849-1922)

 


The Complete Eversleigh Meteorological Observations for the Years 1877 – 1922

Please find below all of the original observation books by Algernon Henry Belfield.

Donated by Richard and Elspeth Belfield.
Digitised by William Oates, Archivist at UNE.
Compiled by Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist at the UON.

Algernon Henry Belfield (1838-1922)
Climate Data – Eversleigh Station – Armidale – New England District – New South Wales
Climate records, weather records, meteorology

Meteorological Observing Books 1877-1878 (22.7MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Books 1878-1881 (Summary) (2.4MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1879 (16.2 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1880 (15 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1881 (15.7 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1882 (15.5 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1883 (14.1 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1884 (15.8 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1885 (16.4 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1886 (16 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1887 (16.8 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1888 (16.8 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1889 (16.7 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1890 (16 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1891 (16.1 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1892 (16.7 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1893 (16.1 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1894 (16.7 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1895 (16.1 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1896 (18.5 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1897 (17.3 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1898 (16.6 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1899 (14.8 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1900 (14.8 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1901 (16.1 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1902 (15.3 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1903 (15.4 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1904 (16.6 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1905 (16.1 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1906 (17.1 MB PDF)

Meteorological Observing Book 1907 (17.2 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1908 (11.6 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1909 (11.6 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1909 (11.5 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1911 (11.4 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1912 (11.5 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1913 (11.7 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1914 (12.2 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1915 (12 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1916 (12.3 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1917 (12.6 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1918 (37.2 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1919 (10.6 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1920 (11.5 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1921 (12.1 MB PDF)

Register of Meteorological Observations taken at Eversleigh 1922 (6.5 MB PDF)

Complete Meteorological Observations for Eversleigh 1877-1922 COMPLETE (688.1 MB PDF)

 

The Complete Scientifically Digitised Eversleigh Meteorological Observations for the Years 1877 – 1922 (Dr Linden Ashcroft)

Please find all of the original observations combined into a .txt file – each column is separated by a semicolon.
Also attached is the complete dataset with converted values, using the conversions that Professor Howard Bridgman explained in his talk. Values of -99.9 represent missing observations.
Thanks to the original transcribers.

Eversleigh_converted_data_cleaned_1877-1922_2018-03-09.csv PASSWORD: belfield
http://owncloud.newcastle.edu.au/index.php/s/r8WVElkRGEBA5Ls

Eversleigh_original_data_1882-1992_2018-03-08.csv PASSWORD: belfield
http://owncloud.newcastle.edu.au/index.php/s/OyHkqxwHReQ3awQ

International Surface Pressure Databank Belfield Data (2016): https://reanalyses.org/observations/international-surface-pressure-databank

Algernon Henry Belfield (1838-1922)
Climate Data – Eversleigh Station – Armidale – New England District – New South Wales
Climate records, weather records, meteorology

 

 

DIARY OF HISTORICAL EVENTS

22 October 2009
FILENOTE: Richard Belfield – Meteorological Journals Armidale

Martin Babakhan called 1/10/09. He’s meeting with a family on 13/10/2009 who are offering an archive of meteorological records for the Northern Tablelands region from 1900 on wards. Martin feels this would be an important and useful archive to acquire and wants to know if we’d accept it. We rang him and let him know we would be very interested in them.

Mr Richard Belfield is the grandson of Algernon Henry Belfield (1838-1922) Astronomer and pastoralist; who had an observatory on his property `Eversleigh Station’ near Armidale, New South Wales; member, Royal Society of New South Wales, 1877-1922. Mr Belfield has his grandfather’s journals from 1878-1907 which contain detailed recordings of weather information from his property at Eversleigh Station’ approx 10 km out of Armidale. Richard also said that there was a Newcastle connection through the Anglican Church, as one of the clergy had helped to finance his grandfather’s property. He also mentioned that his grandfather was well connected, and very precise in his readings, more so than the local Post Office, as the books were  Government notebooks, and he used a chronometer for precise time recordings as well. Mr Babakhan said that the journals were of priceless value.

Mr Richard Belfield is delighted to donate them to our University of Newcastle (UON), however, after some discussion, we recommended, that since the records originated in the Armidale New England district, that in the first instance he should contact our archival colleague, Mr Bill Oates, at the University of New England (UNE) Heritage Centre. If they are not interested them the UON would be thrilled to accept them.

Richard rang to let us know that Bill Oates was delighted to accept the material, as well as provide us with a CDrom of the images of the journals. He is very keen to get a collaborative project underway between our university and UNE. I said that we would start a regional ‘Mapping our Climate’ project that aims at locating and digitising historical records of climatic data from archival records. People to contact: Martin Babakhan, Pro. Howard Bridgeman, Professor Tim Roberts.

 

22 February 2010
(MEDIA) “Generous weather donation” Story by Kelly Fuller (ABC New England North West)
http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2010/02/22/2826789.htm

 

1 April 2010
(MEDIA) “Algernon” Story  by Kelly Fuller (ABC New England North West) –  Richard Belfield, Bill Oates and Judith Grieves were interviewed on Algernon Belfield’s work by ABC Radio over 4 weeks.
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/03/17/2848520.htm

 

12 August 2010 – March 2011
We email Professor Howard Bridgman, Martin Babakhan,  Professor Tim Roberts (Tom Farrell Institute), Dr Nancy Cushing and others that Richard Belfield is coming to Newcastle to donate a digital copy of the Belfield climate records with UON.

 

18 February 2011
Mapping our Climate (BLOG POST)
Announcement that on the 9th March 2011 a digital copy of important climate records dating from 1877 will be deposited with the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections. See: https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/mapping-our-climate/

 

9 March 2011
Handover Ceremony of Belfield Climate Records to UON Researchers


Climate Archive to Help Predict Extreme Weather Events (BLOG POST)

https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/climate-archive-to-help-predict-extreme-weather-events/

Photographs from the Handover: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uon/sets/72157626233482570/

NBN TV Broadcast: No longer online

Newcastle Herald: “One farmer’s observations to help others” p.14

“One farmer’s observations to help others” Newcastle Herald 10 March 2011 p.14

 

April 2011
First steps towards placing data in Research Data Australia


11 April 2011

Enter Linden Ashcroft PhD Candidate Uni of Melbourne and Heather Stevens

“Hi Richard, Looks like Melbourne researchers at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) are on the case with the Belfield climate records.”


19 January 2012
“Belfield Climate Archive Expands with new find”
(BLOG POST)

“late last year another Register belonging to  New England pastoralist Algernon Henry Belfield came to light containing his observations made at Eversleigh Station from 1908-1922.”

https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/belfield-climate-archive-expands-with-new-find/


13 February 2012

The University of New England Alumni are honouring the memory of Algernon Henry Belfeld his Climate Records that were digitally deposited with our climate researchers via our Research Data Australia portal in a cross institutional collaborative project. Gionni and Howard travel to Armidale and stay with Richard and Elspeth. While there they visit Eversleigh Homestead, and the site of their graves that are now on private property.

 

28 February 2012
Algenon Henry Belfield Inaugural Lecture “A Gentleman researcher in 19th century New England” by Professor Howard Bridgman at Main Seminar Room Drummond and Smith College, UNE.

https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/belfield-climate-archive-expands-with-new-find/


29 January 2012
With video by Gionni Di Gravio (filmed as afterthought on iphone) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVciMw0X6DY

 

8 March 2012
Email from Richard and Elspeth to Gionni Di Gravio “To one of the brilliant creators of mischief”

“John, I had to formalise this little tome by offering my profound thanks for all of your assistance in your craft you are a gem in that crown, I am not kidding I believe this. You have been so pivotal in launching this information to the World you sit back there in the shadows and then make it all happen with speed and efficiency. Elspeth and I both are just so grateful for all you have done for Algernon and as I think the man that he was, you would have certainly met his very stringent requirements to be allowed to mange his climatic affairs. We both wholeheartedly thank you for your dedication and help.
– Richard and Elspeth”

 

29 July 2012
Email from Scientist Geoff Sherrington – Crowdsourcing?

“By ‘digitised’, does one read ‘transcribed to electronic readable form, as in a spread sheet file’ or ‘machine copy taken as by photocopier or camera, to preserve handwriting’?” – transcribing?  “and would do it for a small fee to pay for bread and water in my retirement” – Geoff Sherrington

 

13 August 2012
Linden contacts us regarding possible transcriptions in OzDocs, but data is trapped in old database.

 

6 March 2013
(MEDIA) “Grazier’s weather journals hailed a meteorological treasure” (ABC News) Video no longer online.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-06/grazier’s-weather-journals-hailed-a-meteorological-treasure/4556530

 

7 March 2013
(MEDIA)”19th Century weatherman’s trove of records found” By Sarah Clarke
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-06/weather-books-am/4554930

 

2014
More fits and starts towards transcriptions, but no takers.

 

17 July 2015
Email to Richard and Elspeth

I’ve spoken to Kai, who uploaded the Belfield Records to Research Data Australia, and asked her the question as to how to we find out who has been using the records, and whether they have published any papers etc. She pointed me to the Belfield site on NOVA (the Uni’s Digital Repository):
http://nova.newcastle.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/uon:7804?queryType=vitalDismax&query=belfield

The stats tell us that the records have had:

1173 Visitors
1489 Hits
74 Downloads

The Research Data Australia sites has had 36 and 44 views respectively:

https://researchdata.ands.org.au/algernon-belfield/12480

https://researchdata.ands.org.au/meteorological-observations-eversleigh-1877-1922/11548

 

Our blog pages on the Belfield Records have had the following stats:

https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/mapping-our-climate/

2011 – 160
2012 – 9
2013 – 9
2014 – 1
2015 – 0

https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/climate-archive-to-help-predict-extreme-weather-events/

2011 – 122
2012 – 148
2013 – 144
2014 – 39
2015 – 10

https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/belfield-climate-archive-expands-with-new-find/

2012 – 130
2013 – 160
2014 – 33
2015 – 8

The Algernon Henry Belfield Climate Ceremony frontpage on Flickr has had 524 views

https://www.flickr.com/photos/uon/sets/72157626233482570/

Individual images having around 650 – 2,554 views per image

The YouTube Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVciMw0X6DY has had 74 views

A search online shows that there has been quite a bit of media, including Facebook, so people do know about it.

But scientists are hard to find, I think its because every time someone tries to write about climate change, they are besieged by militant climate skeptics that hound and troll ( and in some cases threaten death to) them. Many scientists are not good communicators, they like doing their research, and not being badgered, so they tend to retire to bunkers rather than involve themselves in pubic debate.

With regards to what can be done better. From what I gather, it appears that scientists need more than ‘scanned’ books. They need the data extracted into spreadsheets to make it “useable data”. The trouble is who is going to do this work?

 

15 – 24 September 2015
Enter Linden Ashcroft again, trying to get diaries transcribed, but again runs aground.

 

30 September 2015
Gionni introduces Dr Ken Thornton (Historian) to Professor Howard Bridgman

 

October 2015
Howard contacts Linden and group forms to reexamine and transcribe data from climate records to scientifically digitise.

 

13 October 2015
First meeting of group Howard, Linden, Gionni, Ken and Bill. (Bill and Linden off site) Ken visits the Belfields to undertake historical research. Howard drafts abstracts for conferences.

 

November 2015
Investigate technologies for capturing data, begin trials for transcribing using guinea pigs. Understanding Belfield’s methodology and influences.

 

December 2015
Gionni sets up inhouse University of Newcastle “Dropbox” called Owncloud setting up a new regime on Owncloud with our extant files. Created a new set of folders under the working title “Belfield Data Entry”. With that folder there will be a folder for each year containing the relevant scanned files, and the template. Each folder will be allocated to each of the potential volunteer data enterers individually. The volunteers will only have access to their particular folder. The members of the Eversleigh Research Group will have permissions to access them all. Now, we have a cross over date with the initial book between 1877-1878. Then no records for 1879-1881. Then they resume consistently from 1882. We’ve been going well until we get to 1918, and then things get murky. We will need some guidance as to what to include, as most of the records are on loose leaves, there is some overlap with the previous years. Once everyone is set up on Owncloud, Gionni will share his folders with the rest of TEAM BELFIELD. Wishes to be informed as own cloud is activated and he will send out the share requests.

 

December 2015
An Eversleigh Research Group has been formed to scientifically digitise the Belfield Meteorological Records, which involves transcribing the original data into excel spreadsheets. We are hoping to enlist around 40 volunteers to undertake this work. Professor Howard Bridgman prepares an abstract to a paper Historical Meteorology and Climatology on the New England Plateau (NSW): The Eversleigh Data Set

 

February 2016
– Dr Ken Thornton again conducts research in Armidale

– Own cloud  Email to Trevor – We have been using Owncloud to set up the background files for the Eversleigh Project.  The Eversleigh Project seeks to transcribe climatic data records taken between the 1870s and 1920s by Algernon Henry Belfield at his property Eversleigh in the New England District.  Professor Howard Bridgman is leading this Project to set up a crowd sourcing data entry regime for volunteers to enter the original readings from digital scans of the original ledgers into excel spreadsheets.

We have created individual folders containing

  1. A year’s worth of readings,
  2. An excel template and,
  3. A README file with instructions for the volunteers.

We would like to share each folder on OWNCLOUD with a volunteer, who can read the instructions, access the year’s readings, and enter the data on the excel spreadsheet and save it within the folder they have direct access to.  We would like to discuss this project with you, to seek your technical advice, as to whether this is possible, and would appreciate if you could be available to meet with Professor Howard Bridgman, Dr Ken Thorton and myself at either of the following dates and times

– Howard enlists volunteers to trial the OWNCLOUD system and process of entering data, and prepares instructions and tweeks data entry process and spreadsheet template. Volunteers begin coming forward for input of particular years.

 

March 2016
– Ken delivers paper Introduction of Belfield and Eversleigh data set(climate research) associated with studies of climate change in the presence of Richard and Elspeth
– Volunteers drafted poster and text is drafted
– Linden suggested a co-authored article for the Conversation to promote the crowdsourcing, late  March the article is created.

 

6 April 2016
BLOG POST: Algernon Wants You
https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/algernon-wants-you/

 

12 April 2016
Conversation article published

The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/19th-century-weather-data-is-helping-climate-scientists-predict-the-future-57342

EM News: http://www.emnews.com.au/19th-century-weather-data-is-helping-climate-scientists-predict-the-future/

Daily Bulletin: http://dailybulletin.com.au/the-conversation/17159-19th-century-weather-data-is-helping-climate-scientists-predict-the-future

Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/APRILRECRUITEDenvironment/whaling-historys-clues-climate-future

 

By the 20 April 2016:

21 volunteers have been recruited from at least three states.
28 years of data have been begun, 8 years completed.
Using OWNCLOUD for first transnational research project

 

3 May 2016
“I have just taken possession of another set of meteorological records from Lochivar and “Wollong” in the Hunter Valley. They date from 1846, and I am ecstatic! ” – Gionni Di Gravio

 

23 May 2016
27 volunteers have completed the data entry to Excel

 

New Hunter Valley Data Sets discovered – Two sets historic weather records from two stations in the Hunter Valley, Lochinvar six journals 1843-1878 and another from the Wollong Station (Mount Vincent) (Wyndham Family)  1891-1907. Don Seton Wilkinson, a descendant of the Wyndhams is investigating the provenance.

 

22 March 2017

Uncovering Australia’s climate history since European settlement, together with the Launch of the scientifically digitised Eversleigh Climate Data
https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/lindenashcroft/

By Dr Linden Ashcroft, Senior Researcher
Centre for Climate Change (C3), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)
Avinguda de Remolins, 13–15, 43500, Tortosa, Spain

Free Seminar: 22 March 2017 @1PM
Cultural Collections (Auchmuty Library)

 

1 March 2018

Associate Professor Howard Bridgman, Dr Linden Ashcroft, Dr Ken Thornton and Mr Bill Oates

Algernon Henry Belfield’s Weather Records: an update.
Saumarez House, Armidale NSW

Audience witnessing “Algernon Henry Belfield’s Weather Records: an update” at Saumarez House, Armidale NSW 1 March 2018.

Gionni Di Gravio
May 2018


One thought on “The Definitive Algernon Henry Belfield Climate Archive

  1. 3 generations of my family worked at Eversliegh, west of Armidale. Years ago I interviewed his grandson.

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