The State Library Victoria’s ebook collection continues to grow at a rapid place. We now provide free access to over 200,000 ebooks on such topics as social sciences, family history, economics, literature, history, biography, sport and architecture.

Our ebooks can be accessed by anyone within the Library, and from home by State Library Victoria members who are Victorian residents.

Here’s a selection of some recent family history ebook titles which have been added to our collection. They include – guides on how to research theatrical ancestors, Irish land records and criminal ancestors; books on DNA testing; and a collection of writings on the relationship between family history and the discipline of history.

Front cover of The Adoptee's guide to DNA testing, publication.

The adoptee’s guide to DNA testing: how to use genetic genealogy to discover your long-lost family by Tamar Weinberg.
A detailed guide to adoption genealogy, listing the resources needed to find family members through genetic testing. Includes strategies for connecting your own genealogy to previous genealogists; proven search strategies that don’t include DNA testing and advice on using such DNA tests and tools as AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, 23andMe and MyHeritage DNA. There’s also information on how to analyse your test results, advice on how to establish a biological connection and real-life case stories that put the book’s techniques into practice.

Front cover of Criminal children: researching juvenile offenders 1820-1920, publication.

Criminal children: researching juvenile offenders 1820-1920 by Emma Watkins and Barry Godfrey.
The authors examine how criminal children were dealt with in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Through a selection of short biographies of child criminals, readers are given a direct view of the experience of children who spent time in prisons, reformatory schools and industrial school, and those who were transported to Australia. There is also a section detailing how to research child offenders, the records needed and how to use them.

Front cover of Criminal women, 1850-1920 - Researching the lives of Britain's female offenders, publication.

Criminal women 1850-1920: researching the lives of female criminals in Britain and Australia by Lucy Williams and Barry Godfrey.

This title outlines the historical context for the study of female crime and punishment, a series of real-life case studies which show in a vivid way the complexity of female offenders’ lives, and a detailed guide to archival and online sources that readers can consult in order to explore the life-histories of criminal women.

Front cover of Family history and historians in Australia and New Zealand, related histories, publication.

Family history and historians in Australia and New Zealand: related histories, edited by Malcolm Allbrook and Sophie Scott-Brown.

This collection of writings brings together leading and emerging Australian and New Zealand scholars to consider the relationship between family history and the discipline of history, and the potential of family history to extend the scope of historical inquiry. It looks at how historians have responded to a resurgence of interest in the personal and the local, and how this has influenced the thought and practice of historical enquiry.

Front cover of Family history, historical consciousness and citizenship, publication.

Family history, historical consciousness and citizenship: a new social history by Tanya Evans.

This title examines how family history fosters inter-generational, cross-cultural, religious and ethnic knowledge and how it can shape historical empathy and consciousness. By drawing on the experiences of family historians in Australia, England and Canada the book reveals how people are thinking historically outside academia, what historical skills they are using to produce historical knowledge and the impact this can have on family historians, their communities and scholars.

Front cover of Tracing your Irish ancestors through land records: a guide for family historians, publication.

Tracing your Irish ancestors through land records : a guide for family historians, by Chris Paton.

Chris Paton looks at how surviving land records can help with Irish ancestral research and can help tell the stories of the communities from which our Irish ancestors emerged. He explores the often controversial history of ownership of land across the island, the rights granted to those who held estates and the plights of the dispossessed, and identifies the various surviving records which can help to tease out the stories of many of Ireland’s forgotten generations. He also identifies various ways to access the records, whether in Ireland’s many archives, local and national, and through a variety of online platforms.

Front cover of Tracing your theatrical ancestors: a guide for family historians, publication.

Tracing your theatrical ancestors : a guide for family historians, by Katharine Cockin.

This publication is great for anyone researching British theatrical performers, including those who worked on stage and on film, in the music halls and traveling shows, in the circus and other forms of public performance. It includes a history of public performance in Britain and a selection of case studies which demonstrate how to use material held in relevant archives, books, museums and websites.

Front cover of Understanding DNA ancestry, publication.

Understanding DNA ancestry by Sheldon Krimsky.

This book will help demystify the art and science of DNA ancestry testing for the general reader. It includes information on the methods that different companies use for DNA ancestry testing and looks at what the tests are used for, from their application in criminal investigations to discovering missing relatives. The book also examines the ethical issues behind genetic genealogy testing, including concerns surrounding data privacy and security.

To access ebooks from home, you need to be a State Library member with a Victorian home address. (Terms and conditions of use apply.)

Be sure to check our catalogue regularly as new titles are added each month.

For information on how to find and access our ebooks take a look at our Ebooks: using our ebook collection research guide. You can also browse through some popular general interest books by going to our Ebookshelf archive.

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