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A biography is a history of a person’s life. In a biography you may find an individual’s birth, marriage, and death information. You may also find the names of the individual’s parents, children, or other family members. 


Individual Biographies

Often these collective biographies only include biographies of prominent citizens of Australia. Others feature biographies of specific groups of people, such as Aborigines.

Biography Collections

Some biographies have been gathered and published in a group. These are sometimes called biographical encyclopedias or biographical dictionaries. Significant biographical encyclopedias include the following.

  • Australian dictionary of biography. Douglas Pike,, ed. 16 vol. Carlton, Victoria : Melbourne University Press, 1966-2005. (FHL book 994 D36a.)
  • Who's who in Australia - 1997. Melbourne, Victoria : Information Australia, 1906-.  (FHL book 994 D3aL. The FHL also has editions 1906, 1912, 1922, 1927, 1935, 1955.
  • The Dictionary of Famous Australians. Ann Atkinson, author. 2nd ed. St. Leonards, Australia : Allen & Unwin, c1995. (FHL book 994 D36a 1995.)

Family History Library Collection

The Family History Library does not generally collect individual biographies, but they do have many collective biographies that are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:


Additional Biographies may be located by adding State and or Town to a Place Search.



You can also find some biographical information in Australian encyclopedias. For more information see the "Encyclopedias and Dictionaries" section of this outline.


  • Australasian biographical archive (ANZO-BA) : a one-alphabet cumulation of 181 English-language biographical reference works originally published between 1800 and 1980. Victor Herrero, ed. Mediavilla Munich, Germany : Sauer, 1993-1995. (FHL book 994 D32m; fiche 6140737-6140787.)


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