Maps for local and family history

A guide to using maps to aid your Victorian local history research.

Map inquiries and requests

To view maps or place an inquiry talk to staff at the 'Ask a librarian' desk or phone (03) 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? Anything from 1865-1885, only maps from the 1930s, or just 1982?
  • What sort of information do you hope to see on the maps? Are you trying to find a particular building, see the layout of a whole town, find out where local gold mines were located, discover what kinds of vegetation grew in the area, or find the property belonging to a particular individual? Perhaps you are less interested in the information shown by the maps and more interested in their visual appeal to use as illustrations?

Alternatively, you may wish to place an inquiry online via our Ask a librarian service.

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

Map delivery times

  • Maps are delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room and need to be requested 24 hours 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 permitted. Maps on microfiche or aperture card can be printed or saved to a USB drive. Alternatively, you can use the Library's copying service to order copies.

Accessing heritage items