Biography: Australian people

Where can you find resources on famous Australians?

There are a number of free websites and subscription databases containing biographical information about well-known Australians. Key resources are:

  • It's an Honour - a searchable register of recipients of an Australian honour.

Most of these resources are accessible freely online or can be accessed by registered users of the National Library from home.

Where can I find resources on Aboriginal Australians?

The Library has a growing collection of resources related to Australian Indigenous people.

  • Bringing Them Home Oral History Project - is a collection of 340 interviews recorded with indigenous and non-indigenous Australians on the Stolen Generations.
  • Eddie Mabo papers - an example of the personal papers of indigenous leaders contained in the Manuscripts collection.
  • Aboriginal Tent Embassy ephemera - an example of ephemera material (pamphlets, posters, stickers etc) collected by the Library.
  • Albert Namatjira - an example of the resources in our print collection about the artist Albert Namatjira.
  • Mura Gadi - an online guide to the manuscripts, pictures and oral history material on Indigenous Australians in the collection. This is an archived guide, and is not maintained.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Studies (AIATSIS) contains significant resources relating to Indigenous Australians.
 

Case Study

Searching for information on an Australian poet

I am writing a biography on the Australian poet Edward Harrington. What information is available on him?

We can start by searching likely databases for entries on Harrington e.g. Australian Dictionary of Biography and AustLit

It is always useful to search the Catalogue to see if the Library has any items relating to Harrington. A Catalogue search for "Edward Harrington" shows that we hold a portrait of him, a biographical cuttings file and an oral history recording by him.

It is a good idea to check his published works to see if any biographical information is included in his writings.

We can then search the Trove newspaper database to find articles that mention Harrington.

If Harrington was involved in any organisations, such as a poet's society, searching for the organisation may provide some useful background on his life and activities.