2 Apr 2011

Convict sketchbook hailed by UNESCO

12:59 pm on 2 April 2011

A convict sketchbook which inspired an award-winning Tasmanian novel has been recognised as a document of world significance.

Tasmanian convict William Buelow Gould created the Sketchbook of Fishes in 1832 while incarcerated at Macquarie harbour.

The ABC reports it is the first record of many species of fish, including the freshwater crayfish and the spotted hand fish.

The historic sketchbook has now been inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Tasmanian state archivist Ross Latham says it is the equivalent of a world heritage listing.

The sketchbook and its creator were the subject of the novel Gould's Book of Fish, by Richard Flanagan.

The CSIRO says some of the information is still used by scientists today.

The sketchbook is now on display at a library in Hobart.