Maps for family history

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.

Map inquiries and requests

To view maps or place an inquiry contact staff at the Ask a Librarian desk. You can visit in person between 10am-9pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-6pm Friday-Sunday, or phone 8664 7009.

If you haven't identified the particular maps you want to see, staff will ask about your research to help identify the maps that are likely to be most useful for you. Questions that help us to find relevant maps include:

  • What area you are interested in? Which town, suburb or region is of interest? Precisely define the region by specifying boundaries, such as roads, rivers or towns.
  • What date or date range is relevant to your research? Do you want the most recent maps available, or the oldest possible?
  • What sort of information do you hope to see on the maps?

Maps will be delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room at a time negotiated with you. Alternatively, if there are online copies of the maps, staff will demonstrate how to view them via our catalogue.

Map delivery times

  • Maps are delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room each week day and need to be requested a day prior to viewing
  • Requests for weekend viewing must be placed by 3pm Friday.
  • Maps requested on the weekend will not be available until Tuesday of the following week.


Viewing and copying maps

Requested maps are delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room (on level 2A).

Most maps cannot be photocopied, but photography is sometimes permitted. Maps on microfiche or aperture card can be printed or saved to a USB drive. If a map is already digitised and is out of copyright, it can be downloaded at no charge. Alternatively, you can use the Library's copying service to purchase a copy of the map, which will be supplied as a digital file.

Accessing heritage items

State Library Victoria


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.