Guide to finding patents, based on the collections of the State Library of Victoria

Patents from other Australian states

State Library Victoria holds some nineteenth century patents for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. We do not hold Tasmanian patents.

Finding state patents

Are you searching for a patent registered in an Australian State except Victoria?

Do you know?

  • number of patent
  • year  of patent
  • name of inventor
  • nature of invention

State Library Victoria has limited holdings of patents and patent indexes from other States. The State Library in each state should have fuller holdings.

If  you know these details: State of registration, patent number and the year, you can order the copies to be retrieved from the relevant State collection. You can phone a librarian on 8664 7002 or request a delivery of the patent on our Online Inquiry form.

The Online Inquiry form can also  be found on the Ask a librarian link at the top of the State Library Victoria homepage

If you do not know the patent number and year of the patent, you need to search the relevant indexes. Use the available indexes for each State, listed on this page, to establish the date and patent number if they are not known. These indexes vary in date range, and content (selected indexes include text, abstracts and diagrams). These indexes are held onsite. You can order them to be retrieved using your State Library barcode.

If the state patent you require is not held by State Library Victoria, the following  Other Resources may be able to help:


South Australian patents 1848 to 1886

Specifications of letters of registration of Office of the Registrar-General of South Australia

1877 to 1886

Specifications of letters patent for inventions filed and recorded in the Office of the Commissioner of Patents, South Australia

Patent numbers 1 to 800 and containing name indexes, subject indexes, abridgements of specifications & drawings.

In eight volumes.

Queensland patents

Letters of registration granted for inventions : ... with abridgments of specifications in each case, compiled from the original documents in the Office of the Registrar of Patents, Brisbane / by William T. Blakeney, Registrar of Patents, Queensland.

 State Library Victoria holds 1860 - 1882 in three volumes. These contain name, keyword subject, and abridgements of patents in chronological index. Include the patent number and year when requesting delivery of a patent.

Report of the Registrar of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks by Queensland Registrar

New South Wales patents

The first patent application in NSW was registered in 1854 and the first grant of a patent was in 1855.The first NSW patents were referred to as Registrations of inventions.

New South Wales patent indexes

Print index

Index to New South Wales letters of registration of inventions from 1854 to 31st July, 1887

State Library Victoria holds 1854 - 1887 in one volume containing name, keyword and subject (by class) indexes and abridgements of specifications (no drawings)

Online indexes to NSW patents 1855 to 1884

The Australian Society for History of Engineering and Technology website has the name and application number indexes 1855 to 1884  under the heading Downloads. Click on the following links to go to the indexes: 

Name index to NSW patents 1855-1884

Application number index to NSW patents 1854-1884.

Western Australian patents

State Library Victoria holds 1876 - 1899 (1876-1895, 1896,1897,1989,1899) in one volume.

The volumes listed include indexes and abridgements of specifications and drawings.