The Library holds a large range of biographical material on Australians. This guide contains selected print works only.
Catalogue Search Tips
To search for works about an Australian person, select the Browse subjects option and enter the name of the person, surname first. Titles about a specific occupational category of person can also be found by using the Browse subjects option. Examples of Browse subjects searches are:
For collective Australian and state/territory biographies, select the Browse subjects option. Examples of Browse subjects searches are:
From the late 1960s until June 2000, the Library maintained biographical newspaper clippings files. The catalogue contains records for many of these files eg:
Available on open access in the Main Reading Room unless otherwise specified.
NB Biographical information can be found in specific subject areas of the Reference Collection. For example, there are a number of biographical dictionaries of Australian parliamentarians in the parliamentary section from RF 328.94 onwards. Biographical information on Australian artists/painters or musicians etc can be found from RF 700.94 onwards.
- Australian Dictionary of Biography. 1966+
- Biographies of Australians from all walks of life. The time when the subject did his or her most important work determines the placement of the entries in the 1788 to 1939 volumes. From 1940 onwards, the date of death determines placement. Biographies range in length from 500 to 6000 words. RF 920.094 AUS (also available online)
- Who's Who in Australia. 1906+
- An Australian biographical dictionary and register of prominent people that includes contact details. This publication has changed title over the years and each new title has its own record in the catalogue. See the Former Title section of the catalogue record. RF 920.01 WHO
- Monash Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Australia. 1994.
- Records the lives of over 2200 Australians who have achieved prominence. It includes living and dead, famous and infamous, from a wide variety of backgrounds. RF 920.094 M736
- The Dictionary of Famous Australians. 1995.
- Over 600 concise biographical entries covering artists, farmers, business people, explorers and travellers, writers, politicians, administrators, musicians, sports people and so on from the early colonial period onwards. RF 920.094 A875-2
- A Biographical Register 1788-1939. 1987.
- Maintained by the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) , this register contains references to people who are not part of the main ADB project taken from newspapers, magazines, books, parliamentary papers and many other publications. RF 920.094 B615
- Checklist of Collective Biographies. 1988.
- Cumulative biographies on Australian groups of people eg professionals, politicians, religious, artists, business, military, athletes, bushrangers, clubs, women, ethnic groups etc. RF 920.094 B726
- Dictionary of Australian Biography. 1949.
- Contains 1030 biographies of Australians who died before the end of 1942. RF 920.094 S485
- The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. 1892.
- Notices of eminent colonists 1855-1892. RF 920.094 M547
- The Founders of Australia. 1989.
- Biographical dictionary of the First Fleet published to mark Australia’s Bicentenary. Looks at both free and convict settlers and examines their lives before and after reaching New South Wales. RF 994.020922 G476
- The Second Fleet. 2001.
- Companion volume to the above, this work contains biographical studies of the men and women who sailed on the six ships of the Second Fleet in 1790. RF 994.020922 F648
- The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1888. 1987.
- Compiled from family histories of residents of Western Australia from the early nineteenth century. RF 920.0941 B583
- Biographical Register of the Australian Capital Territory, 1820-1911. 1993.
- Compiled from information submitted in response to advertisements placed in newspapers and posters displayed in public places. Request through the catalogue or use the Maps Reading Room Reference Collection MAP 920.09447 B615
- Northern Territory Dictionary of Biography. 1990.
- Contains a wide range of biographies from public figures, migrant groups, women, Aborigines, for the period from the early British and French explorers of the Northern Territory coast to 1945 (request through the catalogue)
- South Australian Biographies. 1980.
- Includes community leaders and other notable South Australians. RF 920.09423 S726
- Biography Index. (Victoria). 1984.
- Contains over 150 000 citations to biographical articles, notes, obituaries, etc for Australian identities, with particular emphasis on Victorians during the period c1860 to 1910. Available on microfilm through the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room (no request required). mfm N 238