Where can I find data on Australian athlete performances in Commonwealth games for the past 60 years?

You can find data going back to the very first Commonwealth Games held in 1930 on the Commonwealth Games Australia website.  Visit their Australia at the Commonwealth Games results page to search by Games and/or athlete.

Not sure where to start?

Cultural advisory

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this resource contains a range of material which may be considered culturally sensitive, including the images and records of people who have passed away.

Some material in our collections contains terms that reflect author’s views, or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded but may not be considered appropriate today. These views are not necessarily the views of the National Library of Australia. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.

Questions and Answers

Browse some example questions received by the Library on sport in Australia. Answers were provided by Reader Services staff using the resources in this guide.

Q: How do I find out about the sporting achievements of my ancestor?

A great item to get you started in your research is Discover your sporting ancestors.

If you are unable to visit the National Library, you can search Trove to find the title in a library near you.

Some resources you can try include:

Historical digitised newspapers on Trove. Try searching by the name of your ancestor or the club they played for, or even the sport they played.

Sporting newspapers. Apart from general newspapers, there are also newspapers specifically published for individual sports and sport in general.  These can be found by searching our catalogue with keywords e.g. sport newspapers.

Archives of sporting clubs or bodies can also be a useful source of information, so try reaching out to these directly.   

Many sporting associations publish a regular newsletter, magazine, or journal and these may contain historical articles.  You can search for these publications in the Library’s catalogue using the name of the sporting association or if you are unsure, try searching with the place and name of the sport.

General histories on sport or a particular sport may also include information on your ancestor, as well as local history publications.

Dedicated websites are another potential source of information as well as online exhibitions held by sporting and cultural institutions.

Q: How do I find historical information on cricket clubs, players, and scores?  

Information on cricket clubs, players, and results was often printed in newspapers at the time so a good place to start your search is the historical digitised newspapers on Trove.

If you know the name of the club or a particular player, you can search using their name.  Match results listing names on full score sheets were usually only published for First Grade and Representative teams, so if you’re searching for someone who played lower grades you may not find their name.

Another option is to contact the specific club to see what they hold in their archives.  Often clubs which have been around for a long time will publish material celebrating a centenary (for example) which may feature first grade players.

You can also search for information in published material. Try searching our catalogue for histories of a specific club, sport, or player.  For example, you can search using subject headings such as

Cricket – Victoria – Melbourne – History

Cricket – New South Wales - History

If you are looking for test match scores, try searching our catalogue with:

Test matches (cricket) – Australia - History

Q: Where can I find information on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games?

The Library has a large collection of material relating to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, including books, journals, newspapers, photographs, oral history, music, maps, ephemera and more.

To find items in our collection search our catalogue using the subject heading below:

Olympic Games (27th: 2000: Sydney, N.S.W.)

Or try entering some keywords e.g. basketball Sydney Olympics picture

You can also search for newspaper articles on the Sydney games using the NewsBank : Access Global database.  If you have a Library login you can access this eResource from home.

Both current and archived websites are also a good source of information.  Olympics.com provides information on all past Olympic games, including Sydney 2000. The Australian Olympic Committee’s website also includes information on Sydney 2000.

You can search for archived websites on Trove.  Just enter your search terms on the homepage and choose ‘websites’ from the categories drop down list.

Featured Resource

Front cover of book
Hicks, Shauna.  (2015).  Discover your sporting ancestors : it was not all work and no play!.  St Agnes, SA :  Unlock the Past

Have you ever thought about what sporting activities your ancestors might have been involved with? This guide shows you where to look for more information and how to make the most of searching websites, newspapers, original records and published sources.

Find this book in a library near you through Trove.

Access to library materials

If you are a registered reader, You can request items to read and photocopy in the reading rooms of the National Library of Australia.  

Registered readers can also search selected subscription databases.

If you can't visit the Library, you can use the National Library's Copies Direct service to request copies and have them sent to you via mail or email. Please note there may be copyright restrictions when using this service.

You can also search Trove to find a library closer to you which has the item in their collection.

If there is no library near you with the item, you may be able to arrange an interlibrary loan through your local public or institutional library  Please ask staff at your local library for assistance with this.