Electoral rolls are publicly available documents and are often used by family historians and other researchers endeavouring to trace the names or addresses of people in the past or in the current day.
The State Library has an extensive, but incomplete, collection of electoral rolls for Australia in printed form or on microfiche. Where a name is not found on the electoral roll, the Library has other resources with names and addresses which are indicated below.
The Library has extensive holdings of directories and almanacs for most states, which list names and addresses. The South Australian directories cover the years from 1839 to 1973 and also list names arranged by street for suburban Adelaide. The Library also has back issues of South Australian telephone directories from 1933. The Family History collection holds other resources which include lists of people, such as registrations of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and so on.
The Electoral Rolls are housed in the Family History Collection, at the main Information Desk and in the Somerville Reading Room, which are all in the Spence Wing on Level 1. A staff member is stationed in the Family History area weekdays from 10am to 5pm. Outside and during these hours, assistance is also available at the main Information Desk. While we can show you how to use the resources, we are not able to conduct searches on your behalf.
Although the focus of the family history collection is South Australia, the State Library does hold resources to assist with interstate and overseas research. These resources are available for use at the library.
We can also guide you through the Family History resources available on the internet.
For lengthy enquiries, you can Ask Us.
Currently enrolment is compulsory for Australian citizens who are 18 years and over and who have lived at their current address for at least one month. The qualifying age for voting changed from 21 to 18 in 1973. British subjects who were on the roll on 25 January 1984 retain their voting, provided they were correctly enrolled. Compulsory voting was introduced in 1924 for Commonwealth elections (except for Aboriginal people who had to wait until 1984) and in 1942 for South Australian elections.