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A final glimpse as the Australia departs from Genoa, 1956.


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In Australia

National and State Archives
The materials held by national and state archives date from European settlement and include records of immigration and shipping, criminal trials and prisons, business and land records, royal commissions and boards of inquiry. Many of these organisations provide downloadable fact sheets, teacher notes and selected documents on historical themes. The majority also produce downloadable how-to guides on conducting family and historical research within their archives. Database searches can be conducted on-line, by phone, or in person at National Archives of Australia reading rooms in any major city. The Victorian Archives Centre reading room is operated jointly by the National Archives and the Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV).

ACT Territory Records Office
Archives of Australia Gateway
Archives Office of Tasmania
Australian War Memorial
Directory of Archives in Australia
National Archives of Australia
Public Record Office Victoria
Queensland State Archives
State Records NSW
State Records of South Australia
State Records Office of Western Australia


Libraries and JCLS Family History Centers
In addition to their print and periodical catalogues, Australian national and state libraries provide online catalogues of their extensive picture collections, one of the most comprehensive being the museums, archives and library gateway, Picture Australia. Many libraries provide face-to-face, printed and online support and information for anyone conducting family and social history research. Major libraries have indexes to civil registration of births, deaths and marriages for all Australian states and territories as well as St Catherine's House Index to Civil Registration in England and Wales from 1837 to 2000. Australian cemetery and immigration records, electoral rolls and directories are also available, as well as access to the Family Search databases compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (JCLS). Look also for histories of surnames, research manuals and guides to primary sources held by many libraries. Microfilms and microfiche can also be viewed at a JCLS Family History Centre near you.

ACT Public Libraries
COASIT Italian Resource Centre (Melbourne)
Family History Centres run by JCLS
National Library of Australia
Northern Territory Library
Picture Australia
State Library of New South Wales
State Library of Queensland
State Library of South Australia
State Library of Tasmania
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Western Australia


Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDMs)
As of 2006, the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has an online index of records, some dating back to the 1700s. Other states will follow. You can buy copies of these records from the registrar of births, deaths and marriages in each state. Some states enable you to order certificates online. BDM indexes are also available on CD-ROM and microfiche at state and selected local libraries, some state archives, genealogical societies and Family History Centres run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (JCLS). Note that information pertaining to the death of an individual may also be obtained from inquests, wills and newspaper indexes.

ACT Births, Deaths and Marriages
New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Northern Territory Births, Deaths and Marriages
Queensland Births, Deaths and Marriages
South Australia Births, Deaths and Marriages
Tasmania Births, Deaths and Marriages
Victoria Births, Deaths and Marriages
Western Australia Births, Deaths and Marriages


A number of museums have collections devoted either to Australia's immigration story in its entirety or to aspects of migration to Australia. National and some state galleries have migrant artists represented in their collections. You can search these collections online, where you will also find information about exhibitions on the work of individual artists and on a range of themes relating to migration. These institutions have well-stocked bookshops with publications on migration history and the arts.

Albury Regional Museum: Bonegilla Migration Reception and Training Centre
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery of South Australia
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Eureka Centre
Immigration Museum
Jewish Museum of Australia
Migration Heritage Centre [virtual museum]
Migration Museum South Australia
National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
National Museum of Australia
Queensland Art Gallery
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


Migration Museums, Research Centres & Institutes

 In Australia

Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ACT)

Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (WA)

Immigration Museum (VIC)

Italian Australian Institute (VIC)

Migration Heritage Centre (NSW)

Migration Museum South Australia (SA)

The New Italy Museum (NSW)


In Italy


Centro di Documentazione Emigrazione Lunigianese (Tuscany)

Centro di Documentazione sulla Storia e la Letteratura dell’Emigrazione della Capitanata (Puglia)

Centro di Documentazione sull’Emigrazione, Bedonia (Emilia-Romagna)

Centro Internazionale Studi Emigrazione Italiana (CISEI) (Liguria)

Centro Studi Emigrazione Roma (CSER) (Lazio)

Centro Studi Immigrazione (CESTIM) (Veneto)

Centro Studi Joseph Tusiani (Puglia)

Centro Studi per la letteratura di emigrazione “Pascal D’Angelo”

Centro Studi sui Molisani nel Mondo (Molise)

Fondazione “Giovanni Agnelli” (Piedmont)

Fondazione “Paolo Cresci” per la storia dell’emigrazione italiana (Tuscany)

Italici (Lombardy)

“La Reggia dei Volsci” – Museo della Città di Carpineto Romano (Lazio)

Museo dell’Emigrazione di Cansano (Abruzzo)

Museo dell’Emigrazione Eoliana (Sicily)

Museo dell’Emigrazione della Gente di Toscana (Tuscany)

Museo dell’Emigrazione “Giovanni Battista Scalabrini” (Calabria)

Museo dell’Emigrazione Piemontese (Piedmont)

Museo della Figurina di Gesso e dell’Emigrazione (Tuscany)

Museo dell’Immacolatella Vecchia (Campania)

Museo Etnografico Tiranese (Lombardy)

Museo narrante dell’emigrazione La nave della Sila – Parco Old Calabria (Calabria)

Fondazione Napoli Novantanove (Campania)

Museo Nazionale dell’Emigrazione Italiana (Lazio)

Museo Regionale dell’Emigrazione “Pietro Conti” (Umbria)




Association for the Study of Modern Italian (England)

Babylonian Jewry Heritage Centre (Israel)

BallinStadt Emigration Museum (Germany)

Carleton Centre for the History of Migration (Canada)

Centre de Documentation sur les Migrations Humaines (CDMH) (Luxemburg)

Centre de l’Histoire de l’Europe du Vingtième Siècle (France)


Centre d’Études et de Documentation de l’Émigration Italianne (CEDEI) (France)

Centre d’études ethniques de universités montréalaises (Canada)

Centre for European Refugees Migration and Ethnic Studies (CERMES) (Bulgaria)

Centre for Migration Studies (United States)

Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster American Folk Park (North Ireland)

Centre for Studies on Ethnicity and Migration (Belgium)

Centre for Study of Migration (England)

Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur la Culture des Echanges (CIRCE) (France)

Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration (France)

Cobh Heritage Centre (Ireland)

Deutsches Auswanderhaus Bremerhaven (Germany)

DOMiD (Germany)

Ellis Island Museum (United States)

European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER) (Netherlands)

Furesø Museer (Denmark)

Immigrant-institutes Museum (Sweden)

Immigration History Research Centre (United States)

Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) (Netherlands)

Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (Croatia)

Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (Germany)

Institute for Slovenian Emigration Studies (Slovenia)

The Italian Academy (United States)

Italian American Museum (United States)

The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (United States)

L’Association Génériques (France)

Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (Sweden)

Mångkulturellt centrum (Sweden)

Memorial do Imigrante (Brazil)

MhiC – Museo de la Historia de la Inmigración de Cataluna (Spain)

Museo dell’Emigrante (San Marino)

Museo Nacional de la Inmigración (Argentina)

Museu da emigração e das comunidades (Portugal)

The Museum of Immigration and Diversity (England)

Museum of London (England)

Museum of Migrating People (United States)

Museum of World Culture (Sweden)

The Norwegian Emigration Museum (Norway)

Peasant & Emigration Museum (Czech Republic)

Pier 21 – Canada’s Immigration Museum (Canada)

Red Star Line (Belgium)

Siirtolaisuusinstituutti (Finland)

Slovenski Etnografski Muzej (Slovenia)

Srpski Muzej rasejanja i seoba (Serbia)

Unité de Recherches Migrations et Société (URMIS) (France)

Verein Migrationsmuseum (Switzerland)


The following companies sell books on migration, the arts, history and politics in both English and Italian. Both Abbey's Bookshop (Sydney) and Abebooks (UK) provide an online shopping service, while BookFinder provides links to sellers of new, secondhand and out of print titles.

Abbey’s Bookshop
Continental Bookshop
Foreign Language Bookshop
Scopo Italian Bookshop


The majority of academic and general titles on the history of Italian migration to Australia are produced by the following reputable publishers. You can search their online databases by subject, author and title.

Cambridge University Press
Melbourne University Press
University of New South Wales Press
University of Queensland Press
University of Western Australia Press


History Sites
The following sites provide a range of visual, anecdotal and demographic information on Italian migration and settlement in Australia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
Australia Donna
Hidden Italian Heritage
Italian Australia Records Project(IARP)
Italian Australia Institute (IAI)


Genealogy Sites [E: English/I: Italian]
The majority of sites included here are designed to meet the needs of family historians. While some originate from government departments, churches and businesses, others are produced by genealogical enthusiasts. A number provide free or fee-for-service searches of their databases. For information on how to apply for birth, death and marriage certificates from Italian authorities, or on how to use the online Italian White Pages, please refer to our Fact Sheet:
Family History Research: Italy



Cemetery records in Australia [E]
Genealogy, family history and historical societies [E]
Shipping and Immigration Records in Australia [E]
Ryerson Index to contemporary death notices and obituaries in Australian newspapers [E]



Cemetery headstones: Leni, Salina Island, Aeolian Islands, Sicily [E]
Family history: Abruzzo [E]
Family history: Aeolian Islands, Sicily [E]
Family history: Bari, Puglia [E/I]
Family history: Calitri, Campania [E]
Family history: Menfi and San Margherita di Belice, Sicily [E/I]
Family history: Sicily[E]
Family history:Valdese, Piedmont [E]
How to conduct family history research in Italy [E]
Italian genealogical resources on the Internet [E]
Italian White Pages [I]


USA and the Americas

Database of Italian emigrants to the United States, Argentina and Brazil [E/I]
Ellis Island shipping lists [E]
POINT: the American Network of Italian Genealogy [E]



Cyndi’s list of Genealogy sites on the Internet [E/I [E]
JCLS Family Search [E]
Unesco Archives portal [E]


Italian Historical Society—COASIT, Melbourne
189 Faraday Street, Carlton
VIC Australia 3053
Tel: 61+ (0)3 9349 9020 
Fax: 61+ (0)3 9349 9091 

© 2006 Italian Historical Society—COASIT, Melbourne, Australia. All rights reserved. ABN 85 005 596 485 |   Last updated: 22.10.06
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