Researching your overseas ancestors

A guide to researching ancestors who emigrated to Australia from countries other than the United Kingdom


Newspapers can provide a wealth of information about your ancestors, including:

  • family notices - details of births, engagements, marriages and deaths and possibly the names of relatives you might not know about.
  • shipping arrivals - details of when passenger ships arrived in Australia
  • legal information - bankruptcies, court notices, crimes, arrests, inquests and probate notices.
  • land and property - land sales, auctions, information on houses and previous residents.
  • feature articles - military news, business announcements, neighbourhood and local news.
  • advertisements - businesses, entertainment, events etc.

The State Library has many Australian newspapers published in languages other than English for the various ethnic communities in Australia. We also have a small collection of foreign language newspapers published overseas. Newspapers can be found by title on the Library's online catalogue but also by subject terms and user tags.

Newspaper databases

Overseas newspapers

The library subscribes to a range of international newspaper databases, providing access to both historical and current titles.
These resources can be accessed from outside the Library if you are a registered Victorian Library user.

You can find a full listing of titles on our current and historic newspapers database pages.

In addition, a list of online newspaper archives is available on Wikipedia which includes free and pay per view newspaper archives from around the world in many languages.

User tags and subject terms

Some newspapers have been 'tagged' by registered users of the State Library of Victoria. Others have been given subject descriptions by librarians. Keyword searches can be made for various types of newspapers which have been given subject descriptions. For example  'Turkish Newspapers'.

Some popular user tags for foreign language newspapers are listed below. See User Tags for more information about tags.

Some User Tags for foreign language newspapers are:
Foreign Language Newspapers
Chinese Language Newspapers
German Language Newspapers
Greek Language Newspapers
Italian Language Newspapers
French Language Newspapers
Vietnamese Language Newspapers
Turkish Language Newspapers

Newspaper databases


Greek men in social clubs and cafés around Melbourne

Greek men in social clubs and cafés around Melbourne, Vic., H2006.60/1