Card indexes

Most of our card indexes are on Lower Ground 2 of the State Reference Library Reading Room, while some are in the Special Collections area of the Mitchell Reading Room. We have added a note to those that are in the Special Collections area.

You will need to visit us to use these indexes as they are not yet searchable online.


NSW local history: Jervis index 1789-1936

A card index to newspapers and journals such as The Sydney Morning Herald, Empire, Freemans Journal, Sydney Gazette and the Argus from 1789 to 1936. There are also some references to material held at State Records NSW. This is a useful resource for NSW local history.


Church registers on microfilm

A card index of the NSW church and cemetery records on microfiche and microfilm. Entries are arranged by the name of the church, cemetery, town or suburb.

NSW births, deaths and marriages: TD Mutch index 1797-1956

These bound volumes were compiled by Thomas Davis Mutch and are arranged in two date ranges: 1787-1814 and 1815-1957. The index claims to cover all existing birth, death and marriage records relating to New South Wales from 1787-1828, except the Newcastle Register and the Methodist Church records; and selected records up to 1957. Included records are:

  • First Fleet records
  • convict indents, 1790-1806
  • musters and censuses, 1802-1841
  • parish registers
  • birth, death and marriage records, 1787-c. 1957
  • land records, 1792-1825
  • Tasmanian records, 1803-1870
  • Norfolk Island records, 1792-1814
  • Pitcairn Island records


Architectural index

A microfilm index of buildings and architects in:

  • Building and Engineering Journal of Australia and New Zealand, 1888-1905
  • Australasian Builder and Contractors News, 1887-1895.

Australian periodicals 1944-1967

Selected articles from Australian periodicals such as Walkabout, Overland, People and Meanjin indexed in two separate card indexes. The indexes cover names, places and subjects.

Australian Town and Country Journal index 1870-1914

A good source for articles on the history of NSW country towns. There are also a small number of references to people and subjects. There are two separate card indexes to check.

Book Review Index 1945-c. 1987

Reviews that appeared in selected Australian newspapers and journals from 1945 to about 1987. From 1964, only reviews appearing in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are included.

Newscuttings file index

We have a large collection of newscuttings from Australian metropolitan and country newspapers.  The newscuttings file also includes additional printed and typescript items. Information about people, places and a wide range of subjects relating to Australia and some information on New Zealand and Papua New Guinea is included in the file. We have not added to the collection since the late 1970s.

Ask at the Special Collections desk in the Mitchell Reading Room for a list of the subjects covered.

Port Phillip Gazette index 1838-1845

A card index arranged by name, with some entries under subject, organisation and ship’s name.

Sydney Mail index 1860-1938

The card index is arranged alphabetically by place and is a good source for local history research.

Truth: Old Sydney column

A microfilm index to the newspaper column, “Old Sydney” by JM Forde (also known as “Old Chum”) that was published in the Truth newspaper from 1903 to 1928. This is a useful source for local history research in Sydney.


Bayldon nautical collection guide

This collection of almost one thousand books and pamphlets about navigation, astronomy, seamanship, meteorology and early maritime exploration was given to the Library by master mariner and nautical instructor Francis Bayldon. This guide to the collection is arranged by the author of the book or pamphlet. 

Visit the Special Collections area in the Mitchell Reading Room to access the index.

Ships index

A card index to microfilmed copies of shipping records including convict transportation registers, surgeons’ journals, private journals of immigrants and travellers, and ships logs and journals. The index is arranged alphabetically by the name of the ship, and then by the date of each voyage. Most records are from the Australian Joint Copying Project held in the Special Collections area of the Mitchell Reading Room.

Visit the Special Collections area in the Mitchell Reading Room to access the index.


Association copies index

A card index to books in the Library’s collection that contain an inscription, often related to a well-known identity. The index is arranged by the name of the person with whom the publication is associated. For example, The contract for the construction of a cantilever bridge across Sydney Harbour in 1921 (Q624.35/6A3) includes a typed and signed letter from JJC Bradfield to Sir WP Cullen.

The biographical index of Victoria

A microfilm copy of the biographical section of the Printed Books catalogue of the La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria.

Gould’s Birds of Australia index

A partial contents list of plates within the volumes of John Gould’s Birds of Australia. The index is arranged by the common name of the bird and gives the volume in which a particular plate is located.

Havard index to Historical Records of Australia

A card index to selected documents in Australian history to 1848. The majority are from the Public Records Office London. 

Pacific Islands languages catalogue 1820-1970

A card catalogue to the collection of books written in or about the languages of Australia and the Pacific Islands. Included are languages such as Fijian, Tongan, Samoan and Hawaiian.

Sheet music file

A card index to sheet music catalogued before 1947. The index is arranged by the name of the song or the composer.

Sir Joseph Banks' Florilegium index

A contents list of plates for the first 20 volumes of Sir Joseph Banks' Florilegium. The index is arranged by plate number. Use the index to help you locate the required volumes.

Visit the Special Collections area in the Mitchell Reading Room to access the index.

Whitfield Victorian biographical index 1840-1960s

Mostly contains references to people in Victorian newspapers, including the Ballarat Courier, Geelong Advertiser, and the Melbourne Age. There are also some references to articles in the Victorian Government Gazette and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9273 1414

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