Researching your ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland

A guide to researching your ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, using resources at State Library Victoria.


The National Records of Scotland holds the census records for all Scotland. The census has been taken every ten years since 1801 however most of the records prior to 1831 have been destroyed making the 1841 census the first census to remain completely intact. There is a privacy closure period of 100 years meaning that the most recent available census is for 1911.

Access from home

Access in the Library

Further information

State Library Victoria


As of June 15 2020 the Library is open with reduced spaces and services.

Our Ask A Librarian  reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.