Family history

Courtyard closures

As part of the Library's Vision 2020 redevelopment work, the Family History & Newspapers and Arts reading rooms will be closed from Friday 24 August to Thursday 20 September.

During this time, collection material, equipment and desks in these rooms will be unavailable. In many cases, alternative online or onsite access is available. For full details, see our research guide.

The reading rooms will reopen on Friday 21 September in beautiful new spaces in the Library's redeveloped eastern galleries.

The Library has an incredible array of family history resources to help you find out more about the lives of your ancestors. Most of the sources are Australian; however, information from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland is also available, as is a growing collection of sources for Jewish genealogy.

Genealogy, or the compiling of a family tree, is the starting point for broader family history research. It reveals details of related individuals extending backwards in time.

Family history research may lead to more specialised sources in other areas of the Library's collection, including Australian manuscripts, where you'll find ships' diaries describing the voyage out to Victoria; our maps collection, where you can look for plans of Melbourne's city and suburbs; or our Pictures Collection, where there may be images of the Victorian towns where your family once lived.