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Indiana Jones' journal

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"Use it as a journal or diary. Write down anything that interests or strikes you."
Henry Jones[src]

Indiana Jones kept a journal of his adventures from 1908 to at least 1957.[1]


Jones was given a journal by his father Henry Jones, Sr., after the Jones family had arrived in Egypt in 1908.[2] He used it to document all of his childhood and teen adventures. It served as a record of places he had been, things he had learned, and people he had met. However, he used a different and smaller journal during his search for the Ark of the Covenant in 1936.[3]


Indy receives the journal from his father.

The cover featured an ibis, the symbol of the Egyptian god Thoth (the scribe of the gods) until age forced it to be replaced with a leather cover inscribed with Jones' signature. Though it fell into KGB possession for a time,[4] it was eventually returned to Jones, and he carried it with him well into his 90s.[5]

While in KGB possession, it was given the item number 71-8313-HJJ. The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation circulated the journal, with notations to intelligence agents for other countries, code-named "Mad Dog", "Monkey", and "Grey Wolf"[6] as well as publishing it when huge public demand called for the information inside. The release was covered inside Daily News.[7]

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Behind the scenesEdit

The journal first appeared in "Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal", and mirrors Henry Sr.'s Grail diary seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In addition to playing a role in various episodes, Old Indy is seen opening the journal in the opening credits to each episode, and closing it in the closing credits of each episode.

The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones DVD sets are designed to look like the journal. They also reveal some of Jones' entries. Additionally, the DVD sets feature an interactive timeline which reveals much of the journal's contents. The journal can also be seen on a menu on the official website for LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures. The journal, along with many other Indiana Jones props, is on display at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch.[8] As a tie-in to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a book and calendar was released based on the diary.[9][10]

The "Old Book" in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic AdventureEdit

Old book

Indy rediscovering his "Old Book"

The Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade adventure game features an inventory item called the "old book" that can be obtained when the player visits the Jones house; this item is a diary that Indy made as a child, and is described to be similar to the Grail diary. This diary can be useful at a certain point, since the player can fool Vogel giving it to him, instead of the real Grail diary, when confronted in Castle Brunwald.

Although it is possible that the game item is the very same journal seen in the series, it must be noted that the game predated the TV series by 3 years; to date there has not been any connection of that item with the journal seen in the series. While the "old book" was described as a child's attempt to copy his father's Grail diary, the journal of the series does not have such similarities, therefore the possibility they are the same item can be questioned.

Continuity issuesEdit

Notes in The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones mention that the original cover of the journal, with the image of Thoth, was damaged and replaced with a simple leather cover around 1930. However, the journal appears in Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings with its Thoth-cover still on the front. It could be possible that the cover was replaced several times, including with covers that also had the Thoth artwork.

The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones claims that the KGB took possession of the journal in 1957, and it was not released until 2008 by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, however bookend segments of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles show Indiana Jones in possession of his journal in the 1990s. Although the bookends were removed for the DVD release, the journal can still be seen being closed by the hands of the aged Jones at the end of each episode.

The book includes Jones's Ty Cobb baseball card despite him giving it away to Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1910.



Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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