Genealogy research in the IDC

01 November, 2009

Family conducting genealogical research at the Immigration Discovery Centre.
Family conducting genealogical research at the Immigration Discovery Centre.
Image: Philip Thiel
Source: Museum Victoria

Question: Does the Immigration Discovery Centre hold records that will be of use in my family history research?

Answer: The Immigration Discovery Centre (IDC) is a dedicated research space and information resource centre located at the Immigration Museum. The Centre can help follow up research and information queries from people of all ages and in reference to many different aspects of Victorian immigration history.

One of the most popular areas of research at the Immigration Discovery Centre is family history. Whilst the IDC is not a repository, meaning that we do not hold immigration or other official historical records, the IDC does provide a range of resources that visitors can access to begin or continue research into their own family histories.

A first step for many visitors researching their family history is a search for immigration passenger lists. Using the IDC computer stations, visitors can access the websites of various state and national archives across Australia and internationally to search online for arrival details pertinent to their ancestor’s migration journey. 

The computer stations provide links to a variety of other immigration-related websites: visitors can research these websites to broaden their family’s migration story. For example, visitors may be able to find images of migrant ships, learn about the conditions of travel over different migration eras, research the reasons why an ancestor decided to migrate to Australia or learn about a particular migrant community within Victoria today.    

The IDC library is another way by which visitors can enrich their personal family history; it contains books, journals and education resources on a range of themes relating to immigration. Visitors may be able to learn more about Victorian life at the time their ancestors migrated, what life was like for new migrants to Australia and the development of different migrant communities in Victoria.

The Immigration Discovery Centre is open seven days a week and its staff-members are always eager to help visitors piece together an understanding of their personal family histories.

Comments (6)

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Simon Corr 29 July, 2010 20:16
Hello I am looking for imergration records for my great grand father John Corr who was born in misseerabad,India. but I don't know how or when he came to Australia? Or even if he came straight to Melbourne?
Discovery Centre 31 July, 2010 10:37

Hi Simon – Immigration records for migrants arriving in Australia are held by various state and national archives depending on the date and State of arrival. Before 1923 each Australian state had its own office for keeping government records, including immigration records. There's a great list of these various archival bodies available online. If your great grandfather arrived following 1923 you can find his passenger list through the National Archives of Australia here.

Aggie 8 March, 2011 09:10
I am trying to find ship passenger lists for people travelling to Australia in 1959//1960. The National Archives only has passenger lists between 1923 to 1949. Help
Discovery Centre 9 March, 2011 15:59
Hi Aggie, check out the National Archives of Australia fact sheet, it will have answers to many of your questions.
Daniel 23 November, 2012 22:55
Whilst in at the Immegration Museum last Sunday, 18 Nov, I was able to do some family research on your computers, but time ran out! Am I able to access these same files from my home computer??
Discovery Centre 24 November, 2012 10:56

Hi Daniel,

Absolutely! All files you would have been looking at can be accessed from any computer anywhere. The main places to search for immigration records are either the Public Record Office Victoria or the National Archives Of Australia.

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