Thursday, 22 August 2013

Unlocking family stories - biographical dictionaries

The Australian Dictionary of Biography has been available online for many years. The ADB is produced by the National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University.
http://adb.anu.edu.au/
The entries provide a useful overview of the life of the person and are written by experts in the field.

A newer resource associated with ADB is  Obituaries Australia.
Women Australia and Labour Australia are other projects of the National Centre of Biography available online.

Another major biographical resource available at major reference libraries such as the State Library of Victoria is Who's Who in Australia. Some years ago I found a useful entry about my grandfather, including an outline of his journalistic career, in a volume of Who's Who Australia published in the early 1930s.

Anyone living in Victoria can apply for a State Library of Victoria reader's card enabling access to online databases from their website.
Similarly any Australian can apply for a National Library of Australia reader's card enabling access to online databases from their website.
Clicking the biography tab in the Browse Category menu provides access to 32 resources, both databases accessible only by using the membership card as well as websites available to anyone online. This is obviously a good place to start.

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