Such was life

The Biography Index

Have you been researching an elusive Victorian ancestor, only to get stuck when you try to find out more about their life? Are you looking for long-forgotten interviews with prominent Australians? This classic research tool might just point you in the right direction.

Our in-house Biography Index includes thousands of references to biographical information published in books, magazines, newspapers and pamphlets. The index is well worth checking if you are researching anyone who was moderately well-known within their local area or profession.

The index directs you to information about Victorians and other prominent Australians, like:

  • birth, death, marriage and anniversary notices
  • interviews
  • portraits and group photographs
  • biographical articles (including obituaries)

The items referenced date from the 1840s to 1990s. You can access the index on microfiche in the Library at the La Trobe Reading Room and the Genealogy Centre.

The index entries are organised by surname. They are handwritten, and can sometimes be tricky to interpret. Please contact us if you need help deciphering them! It’s worth persevering, because you may find information tucked away in an item that you would otherwise never think to check.

We’re progressively moving entries from the microfiched index in to our online Australiana Index. We’ve also been adding new references to the online index. So, if you can’t make it in to the Library straight away, why not give the online index a try? We’d love to hear about what you find.

Two volunteers reading the Argus newspaper and creating index cards

[Indexing the "Argus", the Newspaper Room, State Library of Victoria], H88.55/15

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