THE RYERSON INDEX

to death notices and obituaries in Australian newspapers

LOCATING a NOTICE

 

Almost every death notice ever published in an Australian paper is available for researchers to access, if you know where to look. And fortunately, a surprisingly large (and increasing) number of notices are available online, for free.

Online Resources

     
TROVE, the National Library online site, contains full digital images of many newspapers published prior to 1956. Check here first to see if the issue of the paper you want is available.  
     
Google has digitised many issues of the Sydney Morning Herald for the years 1956-1989. (Earlier years have also been digitised, but Trove is more complete.) Unfortunately not every issue has been digitised, but usually at least half of each year is available. Melbourne's The Age is also similarly covered to the end of 1989.  
     
The State Library of NSW online service has scanned copies of Sydney Morning Herald issues for the years 1955-1990. Access is available (for free) to NSW residents only, who must also hold a blue or gold State Library card. These are available free at NSW SL website and can be posted out if required.  
     
Many notices published since the beginning of 2005 are online at the Fairfax website. All notices published in the past three months are still online and can be searched. In addition, any notice published prior to that and which has been "claimed" by a friend or relative is also online as a Tribute.  
     
All notices published online in the capital city dailies since the beginning of 2012 (the start date varies for each state) are freely available at the Australian Daily Funeral and Death Notices website.  
     

Offline Resources

Your State Library All State Libraries in Australia hold comprehensive microfilm collections of newspapers published in the home state, and often also include the larger metropolitan dailies from other states. These usually include all but the most recent issues, and even then, new issues are added just as soon as enough issues to fill a microfilm reel have been collected. In the case of large papers like the SMH, when a full reel may only contain ten issues, it is possible to find a reel on the shelf within 6 weeks of issue.  
Your Local Library At the local library level, microfilm copies of papers local to the library are often kept. These are almost always the same film reels as are available at the State Library, and are provided for convenient access by the local community.  

The Last Resort

If all else fails, request a lookup from the team of Ryerson volunteers.  
 

This page is owned by Ryerson Index Inc, a non-profit organisation incorporated under the laws of New South Wales, Australia. The last update was November 24th, 2014.