For Family History month this year we asked staff from the Newspapers and Family History team to highlight useful resources that are not available online. In previous weeks, ShannonRalphLeisa and Alison  shared their picks for supporting family history research. Last, but not least, we have Colleen, with:

Indian Emigration passes to Fiji 1879 - 1916

One of our very popular resources that relates to a little-known part of colonial history is the Indian Emigration Passes to Fiji 1879-1916. We have access to the 60,000 passes in microfilm format which have been copied from the original passes at the National Archives of Fiji.  The indenture system saw labourers mostly from the poor rural areas working in the sugar cane industry for a period of 5 years. The majority of girmityas (indentured labourers) never returned to India after that period, but went on to lease land or develop their own cane fields; some went into business in the towns. The different castes were to live, work and eat together and intermarry which led to an end of the caste system in Fiji, thereby creating the Fijian Indian identity.

Group of C.S.R Coolie Labor

Group of C.S.R Coolie Labor, Private Collection

These collections can be viewed in the National Library of Australia's main reading room. For more information on how to research using these collections, see our Research Guide for Indian emigration passes to Fiji 1879-1916.

We hope that you've enjoyed this series of blog posts this month. If you have any further questions about using these resources for your family history - or, indeed, any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us through our Ask a Librarian service, and we'll see what we can do to help you along your Family History journey.