Chest full of old photographs for Family History Month

Researching your family history

Family history can reveal surprising, and sometimes moving stories that strengthen an individual's understanding of who they are. Explore your family history using the Library’s diverse and extensive collections including research guides and other resources. 

The Library has a family history area in the Marie Bashir Reading Room, where you’ll find records and resources including:  

  • electoral rolls
  • telephone books
  • newspapers
  • how-to handbooks.  

Librarians can help you get started with your research and guide you through the collections.

If you're not in the Library, NSW residents with a Library card can use some eresources online.

Family history events

The Library regularly holds events to help with family history research. You can look for them in What's On

Research guides and resources

  • Research guide
Image is a detail of a design from an artist's book called 'Mapping Genealogy' by Indigenous artist Penny Evans. The book is in the Library's collection, HF 2016/14:

NSW First Nations Family History Research Guide

Use this guide to find key family history resources for Aboriginal Australians.

  • Research guide

Births, Deaths and Marriages research guide

Use this guide to research, discover and learn about significant events of your ancestor’s life.

Convicts: bound for Australia

This guide takes you to key resources that document the early life of convicts.

Convicts: life in the colony

Use this guide to research your convict's life after they arrived in the colony.

Shipping and passenger records

Person working at a laptop

Family history eresources