Researching in different archives, repositories, libraries and societies is usually not that hard but sometimes it can be quite daunting if you haven’t been there before and you’re not sure what to do.

There are many things you can do to prepare for your research:

  • Search the Directory of Archives in Australia
  • Check you are going to the site holding the records you are researching – search any on-line  catalogues or guides first
  • What is the current location / address?
  • Who can visit?
  • What times are they open?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What are the rules / guidelines for visitors – i.e. can you use a digital camera, how do you obtain copies etc.?

Above all – RESPECT:

    • the archives / collection
    • the organisation
    • the rules
    • the staff or volunteers

DON’T spoil things for others!

Remember that rules or guidelines for one archive can differ greatly for other archives.  Procedures and rules may also change between visits – be courteous and check that you carefully follow the correct procedures.

If you prepare properly you’ll be able to make the most of your visiting time.

Of course it’s always easier to visit a new repository if you go with someone who’s been there and understands the system.  That’s not always possible so check the organisation’s web site – many will include a guide or even video of what to expect and what to do.

Keep an eye on Blogs on this site – members of the Geelong & District Historical Association are compiling photos and presentations sharing their experience of visiting various repositories that might give you more confidence to do your own research.  Hopefully they will show you that it’s not that hard!