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Last Updated: Mar 1, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

About the guide Print Page

Getting started

Use this guide to research, discover and learn about significant events of your ancestor’s life such as their birth, baptism, death, burial, marriage and divorce particularly for New South Wales, Australia.

To uncover these events you will need to check several resources. A little bit of luck is involved with family history research but a lot of it is working methodically through the resources.

Not sure how to begin? Check out our tips for beginning your family history research.


  • Note down the resources you’ve checked even when you don’t find anything.
  • Check the original record as it might have additional information that's not listed in the index.
  • More information was documented in later years than earlier years.

We've added an icon next to each resource so you know where you can use them. You will need to sign up for a Library card to use many of our resources.

Access Type Icon: In the Library, or anywhere with a Library card In the Library, or anywhere if you are a NSW resident with a Library card
Access Type Icon: Only in the Library Only in the Library
Access Type Icon: Publicly available Publicly available - you don't need a Library card

Family history at the Library

You can find our Family history area on Lower Ground 2 of the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room. This is where you will find most of our family history resources. We also have resources in the Special Collections area in the Mitchell Library Reading Room and in stack storage. Ask staff for help with your research as well as using our collections.

Find out more about family history at the Library.


Opening hours

Reading room opening hours
Monday to Thursday 9 am to 8 pm
Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Weekends 10 am to 5 pm

The Special Collections area is closed on Sundays.

Opening hours may vary on public holidays. View opening hours.


Contact us

State Library of NSW
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ask a Librarian | Getting here

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