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Card Catalogues and Indexes

Many hidden treasures abound in the card catalogues and indexes in the Mitchell Library Reading Room!

This list is just a taste of the many specialist indexes located at the Library.

There are many card catalogues and indexes that include annotations that may help with your research, however, much of the information in these resources won't be found online. 

  • Speak to the librarians in the Special Collections area for suggestions on other in-house indexes relevant to your research interests.
  • If you're unable to visit the Library, you can send an enquiry to the Ask a Librarian service to assist with accessing the card catalogues.

Mitchell Library Printed Books Card Catalogue

Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

The Mitchell Library’s main catalogue until 1980. All books from this catalogue are now listed on the online catalogue, but many ‘bits and pieces’ are not.

Use this catalogue if you're looking for chapters in books, articles in old magazines, or even portraits published in books and magazines before 1944.

  • Very little indexing of Australasian periodicals before the 1970s exists, making the indexing here invaluable.
  • Indexed entries haven't been added to the online catalogue.
  • Before searching this catalogue, consult the four-volume thesaurus of the in-house indexing terms. This is located on top the catalogue cabinets.

Mitchell Library Periodicals Index: 1944-1963 (21 drawers) and 1964-1967 (one drawer)

Located at the end of the Mitchell Library Printed Books Card Catalogue in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

Library staff continued to index periodical literature, selected chapters in books and newspapers after 1944. These were indexed in a separate sequence rather than filed in the main catalogue.

Use this as a supplement to the Mitchell Library Printed Books Card Catalogue, and an excellent source of articles on Australian people, places and events.


Mitchell Library Pictures Card Catalogue

Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

A catalogue of the Mitchell Library’s pictures collections received before 1992. While all items in this catalogue are now listed in our online catalogue, there are some sequences that are useful to researchers.

The Portraits sequence is an alphabetical lists of all portraits held in the Library, while the Ships Catalogue lists the ships that appear in paintings and sketchbooks.


Havard Index to Historical Records of Australia

Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

Use this for a quick entry point into Historical Records of Australia, including the multi-volume transcript of governors’ despatches and other Australiana documents in British repositories.

Especially useful if you're researching the early settlements of New South Wales and Tasmania.

Online CatalogueHavard manuscript card Index to Historical Records of Australia, 1788-1848


Jervis Index 1789-1936

Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

A very useful resource for New South Wales local history, as it contains references to thousands of towns and suburbs.

It selectively covers newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald, Empire, Freemans Journal, Sydney Gazette and the Argus. There are also some references to government archives held at State Records NSW. 

Online CatalogueJames Jervis Card index to New South Wales history, 1789-1936


Book Review Index 1945-c.1987

Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

An index to book reviews that appeared in selected Australian newspapers and journals from 1945 to about 1987. From 1964, only reviews appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age are included. The index covers reviews of both fiction and non-fiction.


Church Registers Index

Ask at the Special Collections desk in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

A card index to NSW church and cemetery records on microfiche and microfilm, predominantly church registers microfilmed by the Society of Australian Genealogists. Also includes references to records of funeral parlours, orphanages, and hospitals.

Entries are arranged by the names of towns, suburbs, churches, cemeteries, and other institutions.


Index to Portraits of Boxers in the Bert L. Cox Collection

Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

This card index covers the photographic component of the Bert L. Cox Collection.

Cox assembled a large collection of scrapbooks, notebooks and photographic albums relating to boxing from the late 19th century to the 1970s.

The photograph albums contain a wealth of boxing photographs, typically the postcard-sized portraits of boxers that were sold at boxing matches. These cover not only Australian fighters, but many from overseas.


Ships Index

Ask at the Special Collections desk in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

A card index to shipping records available on microfilm. These include convict transportation registers, surgeons’ journals, private diaries of immigrants and travellers, and ships’ logs.

The index is arranged alphabetically by ships’ names, and sub-arranged by date of voyage.

Many records are from the Library’s own manuscripts collections, or from the Australian Joint Copying Project.


Whitfeld Index

Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

Mary Lavinia Whitfeld was an author, historian and genealogist.

The Whitfeld Index is a treasure trove relating mainly to Victorian history. It covers the Ballarat Courier and the Geelong Advertiser, as well as references from other books, magazines and newspapers.

Despite being dedicated mostly to Victoria, there are numerous New South Wales and Queensland references as well.

Online CatalogueMary Lavinia Whitfeld - Genealogical notes & index, 19--