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.
There are many towns, cities or regions in the world which have had different names at different times or have been known by different names by people from different cultural or linguistic communities. Official name changes often occur when political boundaries of states change.
In the course of your family history research you may come across a place name that no longer exists. The following checklist suggests resources of use when researching localities which have been known by more than one name:
1. Books of alternate and changed place names. Such as Place-name changes 1900-1991 and Alternate names of places: a worldwide dictionary both by Adrian Room.
2. Gazetteers. Try general gazetteers, such as the Columbia gazetteer of the world Alternately, find gazetteers relating to your region of interest in our Library catalogue combining keywords relating to your area of interest and the word gazetteer.
3. Historical Atlases. Try world atlases such as a Times world atlas or the Andrees Handatlas. Alternatively, find atlases of specific countries or regions in our Library catalogue combining keywords relating to your area of interest and the word atlas. If you have a reference to a place name at a given date, look for an atlas published around that time.
4. Resources for researching Central or Eastern European localities. As well as trying the resources above, try these:
In line with the stage 3 restrictions announced by the Premier, State Library Victoria closed on Thursday 9 July.
We will advise when there is any update to this situation.
Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.