Maps for local and family history

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

Subject librarian

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Sarah Ryan
Contact me via our online reference service citing my name and the title of this guide


This guide describes the different kinds of Victorian maps held within our collection and explains how they can be used for local and 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 your local area of interest or where your ancestors lived, the relevant tabs describe some of the map resources that you might find useful.

Most of our Victorian maps have been catalogued, so this guide also gives tips on how to search for them.

Your selection of maps will be largely determined by locality that you are researching or where your ancestors lived. Is it urban, suburban, rural/regional or agricultural?  The locating places page suggests resources to help pinpoint hard to find places, such as places which go by variant names or those 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.Click on the tabs at the top of this page to view the relevant pages.

The Maps Collection is not open for public browsing. Use the catalogue 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. Many maps can be viewed immediately online, via our catalogue.

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 staff will select appropriate resources on your behalf.

Good luck with your research.

Finding maps