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A meticulous and tiny Goldfields diary

In this episode of Mystery Box, Senior Librarian Paul Dee unboxes a tiny diary written by Chinese gold digger Jong Ah Siug in the 1870s.

Jong Ah Siug came to Victoria in the 1850s to find gold. After a number of incidents he found himself in jail and eventually transferred to the Yarra Bend Asylum, then onto the Sunbury Asylum, where he died in 1900.

While he was jailed and hospitalised, Jong kept a diary where he reflected on his time on the goldfields outside Ballarat, sketching detailed maps and diagrams of the camp and it's surrounds. In this fascinating piece of Goldrush history, Jong recounts his side of 'the case' including brushes with the law, knife-fights and opium dens.

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About Mystery Box

In the Mystery Box video series, we bring to light some of the most extraordinary items in State Library Victoria's expansive collection. Join us as we unbox unique treasures, and explore the stories they have to tell.

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