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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. However we can help with a wide variety of family history research and accessing of relevant resources whether original documents or online sources.


A staff member is available at the State Library's Family History Desk on weekdays from 10 am to 5 pm. Outside of these times staff at the Information Desk can assist you. Check our Library opening hours here.

Interstate and overseas researchers, or anyone else unable to visit the Library in person, are welcome to lodge a research request via our Ask Us service.


The State Library subscribes to a number of eResources which South Australian residents may access from home, by registering for a State Library card.  

British historic newspaper databases such as Times Digital Archive and Nineteenth Century British Newspapers may be accessed by holders of State Library cards.

Ancestry Library Edition and Findmypast may be accessed within the Library.

If you are not a South Australian resident, you may be able to access these and other resources through registering with your own state library or the National Library.

Discover Family and Local History - Churches and Religion in S A

The next in our quarterly seminar series of joint events with Unlock the Past and Genealogy SA is being held on Thursday 21 February 2019 in the Hetzel Theatre. A number of local experts including Genealogy SA co-founder Andrew Peake and awarded SA Historian Peter Donovan will share their insights into exploring church records.

Includes free State Library Family History tours.

Bookings through Unlock the Past.


Library Guides - Getting Started

The two guides listed below are a good starting point for researching family history, with tips on getting started, and a frequently asked questions page.

Library Guides - Top Three

Most family trees start out as a collection of names and dates. 

Then we begin the search for additional information such as immigration details, where our ancestors lived, and so on. 

The three guides below may help you to get started, using information held at the State Library or by other organisations, or digitised on the Internet. 

More Family History Guides

State Library staff have compiled a series of 'Library Guides' to assist you in researching your family history.  The list below contains some of the most popular guides.

To view a complete list of Family History Library Guides, click here.

From our photographic collection

Two little girls c. 1893. (Hawkes family album, B 72257/4)

Some quick links

New in the Collection

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An 'old colonist', Ellen Eliza Plummer (nee Pitcher) (B 19985/11ZZ)

Meet the Old Colonists - a collection of portraits of some of South Australia's earliest settlers.