Aboriginal people and family history

A guide to resources that will help you to research Aboriginal Australian family history.

Your librarian

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Lois McEvey
Please use our online inquiry form to contact me. Mention my name and the title of this guide.


State Library Victoria acknowledges the traditional lands of all the Victorian Aboriginal clans, and their cultural practices and knowledge systems.

We recognise that our collections hold traditional cultural knowledge belonging to Indigenous communities in Victoria and around the country. We support communities to protect the integrity of this information, gathered from their Ancestors in the colonial period.

We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, who have handed down these systems of practice to each new generation for millennia.

Welcome to the Aboriginal people and family history research guide; a starting point for those wanting to begin researching Aboriginal family history. The guide introduces the various types of records, resources, record repositories and basic research strategies associated with this area of research. Resources include other published guides and websites for relevant government agencies such as libraries and archives. These websites provide in-depth information about available records, facilities and services provided by each agency.

The State Library of Victoria advises that some of the records listed in this research guide may include images and names of deceased people; they may also include words and descriptive terms that may be offensive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These resources are presented as part of the record of the past; contemporary users should interpret the work within that context.

Click on the tabs across the top of this page for more detailed information on each topic.

This is a work in progress. If you find errors, or if you can suggest other information sources or approaches to the topic, please contact me.

We hope you find the guide helpful and useful.

This guide was developed with advice and assistance from the Koorie Family History Service at the Koorie Heritage Trust and the Koorie Records Unit at the Public Records Office Victoria.

Family history guides