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Search & discover

Discover our tools and guides to search our amazing historical collections of more than five million books, pictures, newspapers, maps and more – or explore our constantly expanding digitised collections

Catalogue search Advanced Search

Our collection includes ephemera, artworks, audio and video files, digitised copies of works, music scores, books and more. Use our catalogue search to filter your search from the first click and get to the content you need quickly. You can search for a specific format, date range or locate only those items that are immediately available - on the shelves or online.

You can download digital files of many collection items, and order digital copies of others.

Learn more about finding, requesting & deliveries from the catalogue, including current collection retrieval times.

Explore our digital image pool

From advertising posters and vintage postcards to maps, architectural drawings and an ever-expanding album of photos, the fascinating stories of our shared past are here for you to explore in high-resolution.

Compare the contemporary and the historical, in black-and-white and colour. Discover Melbourne streetscapes and gardens, family portraits, fashion and food. And see people at work, home and play across Victoria.

Best of all, you can download any of these images and create your own story.

Research guidesView All

What it used to cost

Read them and weep: compare prices for groceries, houses and wages in Victoria spanning the 19th and 20th century. Read more

Court cases in Australia

Get to grips with the law using our tips on searching law reports, court and police records, newspaper reports and other commentaries, with a focus on Victorian and Commonwealth cases. Read more

Companies in Australia

From ASIC to ASX, our research guide will help you find current and historical information about Victorian and other Australian companies. Read more

Early Australian census records

Find out how to retrieve and analyse the helpful information stored in early Australian census records from 1788 to 1901. Read more

How to find newspapers

Don't drown in newsprint! With more than 3000 current, historical and online newspapers in our collection, our research guide will help you find your way. Read more

Victorian immigration and migration

Looking for a lost relative from overseas or interstate? Our useful guide will help you research passenger lists and other records of migrants arriving in and leaving Victoria. Read more

Victoria's early history, 1803–51

From the 1803 Sorrento settlement to separation from NSW, our research guide introduces you to the documents and pictures that tell the story of Victoria's early years. Read more

Australians in World War I

Use our research guide to help trace the stories of individual soldiers and nurses who served during World War I, with a focus on Australian personnel and some information on British sources. Read more