Due to essential network maintenance, access to some online services including the viewing of digital images will be temporarily unavailable between 5 pm and 8 pm AEST on Sunday, 22 September 2019. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

A beginner’s guide to family history for public library staff

This course introduces public library staff to key concepts and resources for answering family history inquiries

Course overview

This course introduces participants to key concepts and strategies for answering common family history questions. The workshop shows you how to access key family history resources on the web for births, deaths and marriages, shipping and passenger records.

Who is this course for?

This course is for staff working in NSW public libraries. Information about other courses available at the State Library of NSW can be accessed here.

This course will suit public library staff who are new to family history.

Course delivery

1 hour and 45-minute face-to-face workshop. This course is delivered together with Collect Connect Community: an introduction to the State Library.

Learning strategies involve a mix of lecture style, group work, and guided opportunities for participants to explore selected online resources using iPads (supplied).

Learning outcomes

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • understand the type of information that can be found on birth, death and marriage certificates
  • identify key resources used for finding birth, death and marriage records for NSW
  • understand that there are different types of passengers
  • identify key resources for shipping and passenger records regarding immigration to Australia
  • conduct basic searches using the key resources demonstrated.

What’s included?

  • notes
  • use of iPads

Please advise when booking if you have any dietary or accessibility requests.

The State Library provides the cost of first class return rail travel for participants travelling from libraries more than 100km away - more details can be found on the travel claim form.


This workshop is free for NSW public library staff.

2019 Course dates

This course is delivered together with Collect Connect Community: an introduction to the State Library

There is one scheduled session of  Collect Connect Community and the Beginner's Guide to Family History for Public Library Staff on Thursday 10 October 2019. This session is fully booked. Note that no further sessions of this combined course will be scheduled for 2019. Dates for 2020 will be available soon.

This is a full day session, from 9.30am to 3.30pm. Morning tea and lunch is included.

Visit the events calendar to find details of upcoming events at the State Library as well as other events that may be of interest to NSW public library staff.

Additional information

If you are participating in the ALIA PD scheme you may claim 1 point for this activity.

Please contact Public Library Services staff if you have any questions about the course.