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Family history service at the State Library of South Australia: Home

Our Service and Collection

The State Library Family History Collection specialises in South Australian resources. It is also strong in material relating to England and Ireland and includes a selection of interstate and overseas resources.

The collection is located in the Spence Wing on Level 1.

A staff member is stationed in the area weekdays from 10am to 5pm during Library opening hours. Outside these times, assistance is available at the Information Desk.

Our Ask Us service can provide assistance for those unable to get to the Library.

Staff are able to get you started by showing you how to use the resources and can refer you to professional services for more extensive personalised research.


You can access many of our eResources from home, if you are a South Australian resident.  You just need to register for a State Library card.  Please note that eResources such as Ancestry Library Edition and Findmypast can only be accessed while at the Library.

If you are not a South Australian resident, you may access the complete eResources collection while at the Library.

Events - Genealogy Gems

Free lectures are held on the third Thursday of each month from March to November.  Held in the Hetzel Theatre, located in the Institute Building on the corner of Kintore Avenue and North Terrace, between 1pm and 2pm.  Due to demand booking is essential.

Our next program will be:

16 June - South Australia's Old Colonists 

The State Library is nearing the end of a long-term project to identify, conserve, digitise and create a consolidated index of names to photographs of over 1,700 of SA's 'Old Colonists'.  Discover the stories behind the faces.


View Complete 2016 Program 

Library Guides - Getting Started

Use the guides below to commence a family history, learn how to organise information, record sources and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Library Guides - Top Three

Most family trees start out as a collection of names and dates.  Then we flesh them out with additional information such as immigration details, maybe war service information or what house, street or suburb an ancestor lived in.  The guides listed on this page have been compiled to help assist you in this quest.  They point you towards information sources held at the State Library; link you to other organisations that may have further information and websites that may be of interest. 

Library Guides - More Useful Topics

The State Library has, and is continuing to produce guides that highlight resources in the collection on various subjects.  Below are some of our most used Library Guides, to view a complete listings of all our family history related Library Guides click here.

Photographs from our Collection

New to the family history collection