Researching your family tree
The new Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library on Deakin University’s Waterfront Campus has a full set of resources for people seeking out their forebears.
“The genealogy section is just one of the many research resources that are in our collection,” says curator and librarian Kristen Thornton.
“We have long lists of records to allow people to research their family history no matter where they come from in Australia.”
The new library is contained in the refurbished wool store known as the Dennys Lascelles Building that is also home to the new Alfred Deakin Research Institution.
Essentially derelict since 1992, the building has been refurbished in a $37m joint project between Deakin University and the Victorian and Federal governments.
Inside, it hosts a marvellous tribute to the life and work of Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second prime minister.
In fact Deakin was Australia’s second, fifth and seventh prime minister, being elected three times in the first 10 years of Federation.
He made a significant contribution to the development of Australia’s political and social institutions, including taking a leading role in the cause of Federation, and in the drafting of the Constitution for the Commonwealth of Australia.
Alfred Deakin’s collections comprise:
- Contemporary publications concerning his times and Federation; and Prime Ministers and Australian Federal Governments since Federation.
- Government material and reports for the period 1850-1920, and other publications up to 1920 dealing with the themes of the time that influenced Alfred Deakin, including social justice and defence.
- Titles from the personal library of Alfred Deakin, including works on literature, history, politics and religion which reflect his diverse interests (some personal copies are held).
- A digital archive including photographs from the Deakin family, and many personal papers digitised in partnership with the National Library of Australia, which holds the Alfred Deakin Papers.
Many of Deakin University Library’s special collection of rare materials are accessible through the Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library. These collections are rich in 19th century publications reflecting the cultural and social milieu of the period 1850-1920.
“We have items related to Alfred Deakin on display and also things that he owned,” says Thornton.
“If someone wants to look at an item from the special collection, something that’s not on display, we can arrange to bring it out if we are given notice.”
“We also have a large range of newspapers, mostly in microform.
“There are copies of papers like the Ballarat Courier and of course, The Geelong Advertiser.”
The Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library on the Geelong waterfront is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.