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.