Local and family history 

Local and family history is a fascinating and rewarding activity. Get free access to a range of specialist resources with your library membership. 

Not a library member? 

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Local and family history research guides

Whether you’re researching your family's origins, where they lived or who might have previously lived in your house, visit these pages for research tips and recommended reading:


We have an amazing collection of thousands of historical photographs. Some images are printed while others are available digitally.

Our collection includes photographs of people, events in Boroondara, buildings, streetscapes and the natural environment from the mid 1800s to the present day.

Search our photograph collection

Search tip: use the ‘Refine’ button to narrow the search results and enter a keyword in the 'Anywhere' field, or narrow the 'Collection' field to local history.

Order a copy or request permission to use a photograph

Although the photographs in our collection are free to view, many are under copyright and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Select the button below to order a copy of a photo, or to request permission to use or publish a photo.

Order or reproduce a photograph

Donate a photograph

We are always keen to add treasures to our photograph collection.

You can donate copies of printed or digital photos of people and places in Boroondara. These will become part of our collection and help contribute to a wider understanding of the area's history.

To donate a photo, call (03) 9278 4666 or email [email protected].

Request access to rare or fragile items

Some local history material is rare and fragile, and if it's lost or damaged it's irreplaceable. You'll need permission from our Local and Family History Librarian to view this material.

Request access to restricted local history items in person at one of our libraries or select the button below to fill out an online form. We'll respond to you within a week.

Request access to a restricted local history item

Ask a librarian

Our staff can advise you how to:

  • access family or local history records and resources online
  • find local history information
  • make sense of a tangled family tree.

Contact us using our Ask a Librarian form.

Explore our online family history resources.

History and heritage events

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