Our specialist staff can help you with your research, to locate resources and to use our microform and scanning equipment. However, they cannot undertake extensive or ongoing genealogical, historical or other research on your behalf. More details are in our Information and Research Policy.


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.  


Material relating to your family history may be found in many parts of the Library's collections including:

A family standing outside a tin shack called Wiloma during the Great Depression, New South Wales, ca. 1932, nla.obj-160054430

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

Many family history sources are now available electronically. Check our eResources for titles under the subject of Genealogy (visit the eResources portal, click the Browse eResources tab and then click Genealogy). Here, you can find links to our major subscription services, networked family history resources on CD-ROM, as well as selected free websites. You will need to come to the Library's reading rooms to use some of these which include:

  • Ancestry (Library Edition)
  • Findmypast (World Edition)

Frequently used family history material on microfiche and microfilm such as electoral rolls and shipping records can be found on open access in the Newspapers and Family History zone of the Main Reading Room. Check our guide to Family history sources in the Newspapers and Family History zone to see what else we hold.

You can also 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.

Major family history-related resources in our collections (with research guides) include:

Other resources in our collections (without current research guides) include:

  • General Register Office: indexes to English and Welsh births, deaths, marriages
  • 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
Portrait of Sybil Catherine Douglas, 1920?
Portrait of Sybil Catherine Douglas, c 1920, nla.obj-151160366

Not sure where to start?