Local and family history

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  • Ashburton 10am-6pm
  • Balwyn 10am-9pm
  • Camberwell 9am-6pm
  • Hawthorn 10am-9pm
  • Kew 10am-6pm

Access a wide range of local and family history items and information, in the library and online.

All our libraries have local and family history collections.

The local and family history collection includes:

  • books
  • photographs
  • maps
  • manuscripts
  • ephemera (programs, tickets, flyers etc.)
  • newspapers
  • access to Ancestry and Find my Past (Australian and UK editions) - for use in the library only.
  • access to various historical records on our computers and microform readers. Book a computer.

Ask at the Information desk for assistance accessing these resources.

While none of the material is available for loan, most items within these collections are available for referral within the library. However some records and documents are not available for public use because of the archival nature of the collection.

Accessing restricted local history collections

Use of Restricted Local History material is at the discretion of the Local and Family History Librarian as some of the material is both fragile and irreplaceable.

Members of the public may apply online for access to a restricted item or in person at one of the Libraries. Requests may take several days to process.

Local history photographs

The libraries have an extensive collection of local history photographs. Whilst these can be freely viewed on our catalogue, they may be under copyright protection and cannot be reproduced without permission.

To order a copy of a photo or to get permission to publish them, you'll need to submit the relevant form, available below:

  • photograph order form - Please see staff at the information desk.
  • permission to publish photos- Please email to request a form.

Family history online resources

Explore these online resources for genealogy, museums, births, deaths and marriages, and more for your family history research.

If you have a question about our local and family history collection, or would like to make an appointment with one of our specialist Librarians to get started on your research, please complete the Ask a Librarian form.