Of course, face-to-face meetings will not take place until distancing restrictions are no longer needed to prevent the spread of the virus.
We are still able to accept enquiries electronically via the Society’s website and by mail. Most of our research is done electronically and we have laptops loaded with resources such as directories, historic maps and photo files. There are indexes for burials, hospitalisations, school registers, mining shareholdings, mining accidents, rates, petitions, petty sessions and Ballarat history books. We can still compile information on gold mines, businesses, hotels, churches and house histories. Our vast collection of past files of family history research are an important resource for linking up branches of the same families.
For some family history research, there may be delays because of the limitations on access to our collection. In particular, we cannot use the many volumes of school registers and although we have indexes to personal notices of the Ballarat Courier over six decades we are not able to lookup local newspapers on microfilm until our centre re-opens.
BDGS Honorary Research Coordinator
Ballarat & District Genealogical Society
4 April 2020
By late October 2019, the resource collection of The Ballarat & District Genealogical Society (BDGS) was relocated to the Eureka Centre in Ballarat East. Materials are itemised in the library's online catalogue and are available for public access during PROV hours: Mon-Thu 10.00-4.30pm. The Ballarat Courier and Star (newspapers) are available on microfilm at the Centre. Visitors would most likely want to use the Ballarat Directories to find street addresses and occupations of residents. We have some electoral rolls (the 1900s), BDMs for all states of Australia, some school records and church records, Ballarat and surrounding district cemeteries - headstones, transcriptions and/or registers, Ballarat Hospital Admission registers, and many other items of interest to the family historian. Although we do not roster our members they are often present and along with the Research, the Librarian will provide assistance to visitors. For the use of our collection, we would appreciate a contribution to the donation box if you are not a member of the society.
The Ballarat Archives Centre of the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) was relocated in June 2019 to the Eureka Centre in Ballarat East. The Joan Hunt reading room is open Monday to Thursday 10-4.30pm. Shipping records are on microfilm as well as Ships' Deserters Lists. They hold Victoria-wide indexes to Inquests, Will & Probate papers and Children's Registers for those taken in State care. Particularly useful are local rate books and local court registers, a range of maps and many other records.
The Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute in Sturt Street is the preferred meeting place for family history visitors and researchers. It was open all weekdays 9-4.00pm and Saturdays 9.30-12.00pm but was closed in March 2020 until further notice as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Requests for assistance should be directed to the Honorary Research Coordinator who most likely would be able to provide help electronically. Please email
Please note that the Society's postal address is PO Box 1809 Bakery Hill Mail Centre, Victoria 3354, Australia. To speak with the Secretary phone 0467 241 352.
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