Australian Rules football

A guide to researching history, players, matches and clubs


Football grounds of Melbourne  Santo Caruso with Mark Fiddian and Jim Main


Our Library holds a large collection of maps that cover all areas of Victoria across various years. These can be useful for locating the local football ovals at particular times. See our guide Maps for local history for more information on locating and accessing maps.

MMBW detail plans

From 1895 until the mid 1950s, the MMBW surveyed the whole of metropolitan Melbourne. The maps drafted to record the survey findings, at a scale of 40 feet to 1 inch (1:480), are know as the MMBW detail plans. 

Plans from different eras may present slightly different levels of detail.

It is important to be aware that most areas were only surveyed once. 

All of the MMBW detail plans in our collection have been scanned and are available via the online catalogue, but be aware that although we have close to 3,000 plans, we do not hold every plan in the series.

Refer to the research guide on How to read the MMBW 40ft to the inch detail plans for more information.

Some of the original grounds used when the competition began in 1897

Street directories

There have been several street directories of Melbourne including Moulton's (1911-1916), Morgan's (1917-1971), Collins' (1922-1952), UBD (1955- ) and Melway (1966-) A number of these have been digitised.

The University of Melbourne have digitised a selection of Melway street directories between 1966-1999.

Google maps

Google maps is an effective tool for locating and viewing football grounds across Victoria, and Australia. Using the street view or satellite option allows you to view the ground.  See this example of the Tyntynder Bulldogs home ground on street view and satellite. To access street view from the Google map view, drag the little yellow figure at bottom right of the screen to required location.

Briquette Oval Yallourn H2009.18/554.Briquette oval football match Yallourn (c1920-1930) H2009.18/554

Images of football grounds

MCG redevelopment 2003

Aerial photographs of various football grounds

General photographs of football grounds

When searching for images for specific football grounds enter the name or location of the ground and narrow your search to 'pictures'. See example below

Search City Wangaratta.

Football, Rovers v Rutherglen, City Oval 1970  H2005.100/2139

Football, Rovers v Rutherglen, City Oval 1970 H2005.100/2139

The Boyles Collection website also includes information of football grounds used by AFL/VFL/VFA teams