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

Before you visit

  • Spend time gathering all of your family information together. Talk to relatives, collect documents, photographs and records.
  • Organise the information into charts (such as those available for download from
  • Identify the gaps and decide what you want to look for first.
  • Visit the National Library's Newspapers and Family History zone to get started. You'll find lots of resources including microfilm and electronic resources.
  • Staff in the reading room can help you get started but cannot do your research for you.

Learning at the Library

The Library runs regular sessions for the community on various aspects of your family history needs. The following are some examples of the sessions provided and which can be booked online. These and other sessions can be found via our What's on webpage:

  • Getting started
  • Using microform readers
  • Discover
  • Discover Trove
  • Maps for family history
  • World War One military ancestors
  • Trove for family history

Some sessions have been recorded as webinars and can be found via the Library's YouTube channel


The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra (HAGSOC) also provides education sessions for members and the community. These are held in their Education Room or HAGSOC Library at 41 Templeton Street, Cook.