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Born in Hanover, Germany, to Jewish parents, Borchardt escaped Nazism via Italy and emigrated to New Zealand. There he studied at Victoria University, Wellington, and graduated with a BA in 1944 and an MA in 1947. He gained a library diploma from the New Zealand Library School.
He was Acquisitions Librarian at the University of Otago Library in 1949 to 1950. He was appointed as deputy librarian (1950–52) and then chief librarian (1953–1965) at the University of Tasmania. He also tutored in modern languages at that university.
For more information see : http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/borchardt-dietrich-hans-16360