The Library's collections offer a wealth of resources to the Australian family historian.

You will find frequently used family history material on microfiche and microfilm in a special area of the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room. Check our guide to Family history sources in the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room to see what we hold.

Many family history sources are available electronically. Check eResources for titles or browse Genealogy in eResources. You can find bookmarked free websites, networked family history CDs and subscription services. You will need to come to the Library's reading rooms to use some of these.

The Library provides free access in its reading rooms to:

You can search the Library's catalogue for topics related to family history, such as published family histories, local histories, military histories and diaries, ship information and biography.

Staff can help you locate resources and use the microform equipment, but cannot do extensive or ongoing genealogical, historical or other research for you.

Note that the terms, 'family history' and 'genealogy' are used interchangeably between databases and across the National Library website, so searches should be constructed appropriately.

Frequently asked family history questions:

Major resources in the collection (with research guides):

Other resources in the collection (without current research guides):

  • General Register Office: indexes to English and Welsh births, deaths, marriages
  • Records relating to convict transportation
  • Shipping and passenger records
  • The Griffith Valuation and index to the Tithe Applotment books (Ireland)
  • Indexes to inquests and probate records
  • Australian censuses and musters
  • Australian parish records on microfilm (Society of Australian Genealogists collection)
  • Directories and almanacs

Material  relating to your family history may be found in other parts of the Library's collections such as:

Getting started

For an overview on beginning your family history research watch our short online video: