Victoria's early history, 1803-1851

A guide to researching the history of Victoria's foundation and early settlement based on published and digitised sources.

Collected biographies

The Australian dictionary of biography  is a key source providing comprehensive biographical articles on significant figures in Victoria's early history. The ADB is also available online.

Australian autobiographical narratives: an annotated bibliography. Volume 1, to 1850 by Kay Walsh and Joy Hooton is a fascinating and comprehensive guide to published Australian autobiographical writing dealing with the period to 1850.

Other sources contain potted biographies which can be useful in providing brief information on individuals in specific contexts. Other collections of biographies covering the period include:

Individual biographies

Individual biographies of early settlers such as the Hentys, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner are listed in their sections under the European settlement tabThe biographies below relate to some of the other significant persons in the establishment and development of the colony.


The Library's Pictures Collection includes portraits of many of the early settlers and pioneers of Port Phillip such as Charles Joseph La Trobe  and Georgiana McCrae.



Georgiana Huntly McCrae                                       Mr Charles Joseph La Trobe, H81.20/1

Self-portrait aged 20, H89.181/3

Usee the Pictures and photographs search on the catalogue and type in a name or keywords that describe what you are looking for. For more information on searching for pictures try our Picture research guide.