This is a guide to using maps for family history. It focuses on using the SLV maps collection, and on researching Victorian family history, including immigration to 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.
This guide describes many of the different kinds of maps held within our collection that can be used for family history research. It also suggests some map resources from other collections that are available online.
Use the tabs across the top of the page to learn more about the different kinds of information that can be found.
Depending on where your ancestors lived, the relevant tabs describe some of the map resources that you might find useful. The locating places page suggests resources to help pinpoint hard to find places, such as places which go by variant names or located in regions with changing national borders. The wars & conflicts tab will help you find map resources related to the conflicts your ancestors may have been involved in.
The Maps Collection is not open for public browsing, although many of our maps can be viewed and downloaded online via the library catalogue. For those that aren't, use the catalogue and this guide to identify maps, then place a request. At a pre-negotiated time, your material will be delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room for viewing.
Don't worry if you don't know exactly what you are after - simply put in a maps inquiry specifying the kind of information you are hoping to find and maps staff will select appropriate resources on your behalf.
Good luck with your research.
This video describes how to find and view maps at the State Library of Victoria.
Search our Library catalogue for maps