State Library Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 1 April 1968


Victorian History 1850—1900: A Guide for Research-Workers and Book Collectors. Part I

Until such time as a comprehensive bibliography of Victoria is compiled, it may be useful to historians and collectors to have a working outline guide to the various materials relating to the second half of the nineteenth century.
It must be stressed that this guide does not pretend to be any more than a highly selective outline.
General Histories and surveys include:
  • Daley, C. and others. Victoria: the first century, Melb., 1934.
  • Doyle, E.A. (ed.) The story of the century, 1851–1951, Melb., 1951.
  • Leavitt, T.W.H. and Lilburn. Jubilee history of Victoria and Melbourne, Melb., 1888.
  • Leeper, G.W. (ed.) Introducing Victoria, Melb., 1955.
  • Serle, Geoffrey. The golden age: a history of the colony of Victoria, 1851–1861, Melb., 1963.
  • Sutherland, A. Victoria and its metropolis, vol. i, Melb., 1888.
  • Turner, H.G. A history of the colony of Victoria, 2 vols., Lon., 1904.
  • G.W. Rusden's History of Australia (Lon., 1883 and Melb., 1897) and other general histories of Australia also include much on Victoria.
General Reference Works include:
  • Chisholm, A.H. (ed.) The Australian Encyclopedia, 10 vols., Syd., 1958.
  • Smith, James. (ed.) Cyclopedia of Victoria, 3 vols., Melb., 1902.
  • Victorian Year Book, 1874 +. For earlier statistical compilations, see under Victoria. Registrar-General in the State Library catalogue.
  • Note Index of special articles in previous Victorian Year Books…, in Victorian Year Book, 1967. Articles include histories of government departments and state instrumentalities.
  • Ferguson, J.A. Bibliography of Australia, vols. 5–7.
  • Borchardt, D.H. Australian bibliography: a guide to printed sources of information, Melb., 1963.
  • National Library of Australia. Australian bibliography and bibliographical services, Canberra, 1960.
  • Royal Empire Society. Subject catalogue of the Royal Empire Society, E. Lewin (ed.), Lon., 1931. Vol. 2. The Commonwealth of Australia. (Victoria, pp. 242–72).
  • Massola, A. Bibliography of printed literature upon Victorian aborigines. In National Museum of Victoria. Memoirs, No. 24, Dec. 1959.
  • Greenway, J. Bibliography of Australian Aborigines …, Sydney, 1963.
  • McLaren, I. Victorian Parliamentary papers relating to the Aborigines. In Biblionews, vol. 10, no. 9, 1957.
Other specialist
  • Check list of Australian business histories and biographies of businessmen. In Business Archives and History, Feb. 1963, pp. 119–37.
  • Gregory, J.W. Bibliography of the economic geology of Victoria. In Victoria. Geological Survey Records, vol. 2, 1907.
  • Legal bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Vol. 6, Australia, New Zealand and their dependencies. 2 ed., Lond., 1958.
  • Miller, E.M. Australian literature from its beginnings to 1935, 2 vols., Melb., 1940. See also H.M. Green, A History of Australian Literature, 2 vols., Syd., 1961.
  • Mozley, A. A check list of publications on the history of Australian science. In Australian Journal of Science, Nov. 1962.
  • Royal Commonwealth Society. Biography catalogue of the Royal Commonwealth Society, ed. D.H. Simpson, Lon., 1964.
Biographical Compilations
  • Australian National University. Dep't. of History. Biographical Register. Short List, 2 vols., 1963.
  • Henderson, A. Early Pioneer Families of Victoria and Riverina, Melb., 1963.
  • Humphreys, H.M. Men of the time in Australia: Victorian Series, Melb., 1878 and 1882.
  • Kimberly, W.B. Ballarat and Vicinity, Ballarat, 1894.
  • Kimberly, W.B. Bendigo and Vicinity, Ballarat, 1895.
  • Serle, Percival. Dictionary of Australian Biography, 2 vols., Syd., 1949.
  • Smith, James. (ed.) Cyclopedia of Victoria, 3 vols., Melb., 1902.
  • (Sutherland, A.), Whitworth, R.P. and others. Victoria and its Metropolis, vol. 2, Melb., 1888.
  • The Australian Dictionary of Biography, vols. 3–6, will be published from 1969 to 1972 and will include entries on some 800 Victorians of the period. The General Editor (Australian National University) will supply biographical references on request. References will also be supplied from the La Trobe Library's indexes.
Directories and Gazetteers
  • La Trobe Library. Chronological guide to Victorian directories, electoral rolls, professional lists etc., 1836–1900 (typescript in Library).
  • Victorian municipal directory, 1866 +. (Title varies; began as Directory of shires, road board districts).
  • Victorian gazetteer. Melb., Baillière, 1865, 1870, 1879.
  • La Trobe Library. Historical Collection. Includes large number of paintings, engravings and photographs of Victorian subjects, including portraits.
  • La Trobe Library: Illustrations index. (Card index in La Trobe Library). Indexes engravings and photographs in illustrated newspapers to 1910; Australasian Sketcher, Illustrated Australian News, Illustrated Melbourne Post, etc.
  • Vale and Co. (Collection of Victorian Maps). 12 vols. (Card Index in La Trobe Library).
  • Haughton and Son. (Collection of Victorian maps, subdivision sales, advertisement of sales etc.) 5 vols. (La Trobe Library).
  • The major collections of papers in the La Trobe Library are those of Sir Redmond Barry, J.P. Fawkner, C.J. La Trobe, C.H. Pearson and J.J. Shillinglaw. For the collection as a whole see Catalogue of the manuscripts, letters, documents, etc. in the private collection of the State Library of Victoria, Melb., 1961. The detailed inventories and draft catalogues in the Manuscripts section may be consulted by arrangement.
  • For material in other repositories, notably the National and Mitchell Libraries and the University of Melbourne Archives, see Aust. Advisory Council for Bibliographical Services, Manuscripts relating to Australia. Guide to collections.
  • The holdings of the Archives division of the State Library are near-complete for the major government departments—the Governor's Office (including despatches to and from the Secretary of State for the Colonies), Colonial and Chief Secretary's, Premier's, Lands, Education, Police, Railways, Immigration, etc. The Archives also hold microfilm copies of the Colonial Office Series relevant to Victoria.
Printed Govermental and Parliamentary Sources
  • Adamson, Travers. (ed.) Acts and Ordinances in Force in Victoria, 2 vols., Melb., 1855–56.
  • Victoria. Acts and Ordinances, 1851/2–1855/6.
  • Victoria. Victorian Statutes, 1856–57 +, with consolidations, 1866, 1875–85, 1887, 1890, 1915.
  • Victoria. Government Gazette, 1851 +. Annual indexes.
  • Victoria. Parliamentary Debates, 1865 +. From 1851 to 1856 reports of debates in the Legislative Council are to be found only in the newspapers. From 1856 to 1864 the Argus reports of debates were published as the unofficial Victorian Hansard.
  • Votes and proceedings of the Victorian Legislative Council and papers presented… began in 1851 and Votes and proceedings of the Victorian Legislative Assembly and papers presented… in 1856. See Worthington, J.M., Index to the parliamentary papers…, 1851–1909; Adam, M.I., Ewing and Munro, Guide to the principal parliamentary papers relating to the dominions, Edinburgh, 1913.
    For lists of ministries, members of parliament, etc., see Watson, T.G., The first fifty years of responsible government in Victoria, Melb., 1906 and The Victorian Parliamentary Handbook. Note also Victoria, Parliament. One hundred years of responsible government in Victoria, 1856–1956, Melb., 1957.
Newspapers and Periodicals
  • The major Melbourne daily newspapers are as follows:
    • Age (1854 +)
    • Argus (1846–1957)
    • Herald (1840 +)
    • Daily Telegraph (1869–92)
Some of the nineteenth century provincial and country newspapers rivalled the metropolitan press in quality, e.g., the Geelong Advertiser, Ballarat Courier, Bendigo Advertiser, Ovens and Murray Advertiser, Bacchus Marsh Express.
See Newspapers in Australian Libraries; a union list, National Library, Canberra. 1967.
State Library of Victoria. Holdings of Victorian newspapers; chronological list; 1840–1960.
  • Argus. Index 1846–1858, by J.A. Feely.
  • The Age Index 1868–1878; 1892–1899. (Index to leading articles only). Note also the weeklies; such as:
    • Australasian (1864–1946, preceded by the Weekly Argus, the Examiner and Melbourne Weekly News, and the Yeoman and Australian Acclimatiser).
    • Leader (1856–1957).
    • Punch, Melbourne (1855–1929).
    • Table Talk (1885–1937).
    • Tocsin (1897–1906, succeeded by Labor and Labor Call).
    • Weekly Times (1869 +), preceded by The Economist (1859–75).
There were dozens of, generally short-lived, periodicals, most of which have been little used by historians, though several are of outstanding interest. Some of the more important are:
  • Advance Australia (1897–1920), Australian Natives Association.
  • Australasian Insurance and Banking Record (1877 +).
  • Australasian Pastoralists Review (1885 +).
  • Colonial Monthly (1865–8).
  • Imperial Review (1879–1919).
  • Liberator (1884–1904), freethought.
  • Melbourne Review (1876–85), index in La Trobe Library.
  • Victorian Review (1879–86), index in La Trobe Library.
For periodicals, see Serials in Australian Libraries. Social Sciences and Humanities. A Union List, National Library, Canberra, 1964. Also, La Trobe Library. Subject and author index to 19th century Victorian periodicals (in process, on cards).
See Church History (below) for religious periodicals.
Church History
  • Goodman, G. The Church in Victoria during the episcopate of the Rt. Rev. Charles Perry, Melb., 1892.
  • Nunn, H.W. A short history of the Church of England in Victoria, Melb., 1947.
  • Moran, P.F. The Catholic Church in Australasia, Syd., 1895.
  • Suttor, T.L. Hierarchy and democracy in Australia 1788–1870, Melb., 1965.
  • Macdonald, A. One hundred years of Presbyterianism in Victoria, Melb., 1937.
  • Benson, C.I. A century of Victorian Methodism, Melb., 1935.
  • Blamires, W.L. and Smith. The early story of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria, Melb., 1886.
The main church periodicals are as follows:
  • Church of England Messenger (1869 +), preceded by the Melbourne C. of E. Messenger (1850–54), C. of E. Record for the Diocese of Melbourne (1855–61), Church Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne (1862–66), Melbourne Church News (1866–70).
  • Advocate (Catholic) (1868 +).
  • Austral Light (1892–1920) preceded by the Catholic Magazine (1888–91).
  • Monthly Messenger of the Presbyterian Church (1880–1923).
  • Spectator (Wesleyan) (1875 +).
  • Congregationalist (1870 +).
  • Southern Cross (evangelical) (1874–1928).
A select list of books, articles and theses will follow in the next issue.
Geoffrey Serle
The author wishes to acknowledge the great assistance given, in compiling this guide, by the La Trobe Librarian, Miss Patricia Reynolds.