The 2nd last presentation of Family History Feast was our very own Steven Kafkarisos, with his talk Well armed! The military history collection at the State Library of Victoria. Steven works as a librarian in the Library’s Redmond Barry team and I don’t think there could be a better person to take us through the Library’s military history collection.
The Library has actively collected military material since the very beginning. With books on ancient battles, world wars, Vietnam, Iraq and so on, the Library is well placed to help you with your military research (no matter your area of interest).
Steven recommended the following resources:
- Published regimental histories. Try a catalogue search with the name of your ancestor’s battalion (eg. a search of “8th Battalion” brings up Cobbers in khaki : the history of the 8th Battalion, 1914-1919)
- published lists of awards (eg. Australian & New Zealand honours & awards of the Boer war 1899-1902 )
- books on military awards (eg. Australians awarded : a concise guide to military and civilian decorations, medals and other awards to Australians from 1815 to 2007 with their valuations )
- books on military costume ( eg. The lace Wars)
- war diaries/ personal narratives (eg. With the Scottish nurses in Roumania)
- books on the Australian home front (eg. On the home front : Melbourne in wartime : 1939-1945)
Training and use of pigeons by British during World War 2] H2000.200/432
Steven also introduced The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers and the National Archives UK Discovery database, two electronic databases you can access for free at the Library (also available from home to registered Victorian users).
The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers database includes fully searchable, full-text British parliamentary papers from 1801 to 2003-2004 sessions.
The National Archives UK Discovery database includes a strong collection of military content such as British Army medal index cards 1914-1920, Victoria Cross registers 1856-1944, British Army nurses’ service records 1914-1918 and more.
Steven also reported on the launch of the Library’s new military research guide Australian colonial forces and family history. (We are also pleased to announce the launch of our Maps and family history guide).
Well done to Steven for his comprehensive talk on the Library’s collection!
If you have any questions about our military collection, feel free to contact us through the Ask-a-librarian section of our website. Stay tuned for my last Family History Feast post “That elusive Digger” – Lt Col. Neil C Smith, AM – Don Grant Lecture 2013.