Australian Rules football

A guide to researching history, players, matches and clubs


Many Australian Rules football clubs, particularly those in the major competitions, will have written histories.  For general results search for the name of the club. Add the term history for more specific results.

Search examples:

Club websites are also a great source of historical information (see Websites box on this page)

Annual & financial reports

Club annual reports can be a great source of information. The Library holds a range of these for major football clubs, however the majority of holdings are since the 1990s. Holdings prior to that are sporadic.  

Search for a club name followed by annual report to check our holdings. Of recent times club will often publish their annual reports online. Historic holdings of annual reports are sparse, and clubs at various levels haven't always archived such resources.  Annual reports also may have had very small print runs. For reports we don't hold, check with the club you are researching, or the league in which they play. If reports exist  you may be able to arrange access.

Search examples:

Annual General Meetings 

While extensive archives of club annual reports are not available, newspapers often reported club annual general meetings.

Search examples from the Trove Newspaper database:

See also the Newspaper box below. 


Watchem Junior Football Team H2013.324/7

Watchem Junior Football Team 1912 H2013.324/7

Other sources


Examples of newspaper reports of Annual General Meetings at various football clubs.


Family history

Sources used for family history can be very useful for details of a player and their extended family.


For the VFL/AFL see this publication:

Club jumpers

This site allows you to browse through each club's jumper throughout their history - Home, Away/Clash, Heritage, One-off Promotional and Pre-Season Jumpers.

The full uniforms worn for each season of the VFL/AFL can be veiwed and in the club section, all uniforms worn in the clubs history. It also includes WAFL sides.

Published biographies of players

Notable players from the major football leagues often have published biographies. This has become much more common in recent times.

The easiest way to locate copies of these is to search by a player's name on our catalogue for our holdings, and on the Australia wide Trove database for holdings at other libraries. 

For example: 


Falcons half forward Kris Gardiner H2001.306/8

Falcons half forward Kris Gardiner H2001.306/8

State Library Victoria