Author: Public Record Office Victoria

Fantastic news for researchers thanks to State Library Victoria!

Around 7 million records detailing the history of land use in Victoria are now available online after a major digitisation project, funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The Sands and McDougall directories record commercial, industrial and residential land use from 1860 to 1974 and are used by historians, genealogists, urban planners, property vendors and buyers.

More than 50,000 pages and 24 volumes of the directories are now accessible from anywhere in the world, and reveal Victoria’s rich social history as well as help identify potential land contamination from past industries. 

Kate Torney, State Library Victoria CEO, said that making information accessible is critical to ensuring it can be used by all Victorians.

"These important directories tell the story of Victoria through its people and places. This resource is in high demand, so it’s wonderful to now be able to provide broader access through our digital collections."

The Library has digitised the directories in five-year intervals, providing a comprehensive overview of Victoria’s land-use history.

Researcher Dr Liz Rushen says the records are a valuable resource for historians. 

"The Sands and McDougall Directories are a fantastic resource for anyone researching local and family history. Providing an alphabetical listing of surnames and a street by street listing of house occupants in each Melbourne suburb, and later in country Victoria, as well as a trades and professions listing, it’s a go-to resource for accurate information, enabling the movement of people to be studied in depth. Commencing from 1860 and continuing in five-year increments, these Directories are now available online – many thanks and congratulations to the SLV."


photo of a directory


An advertisement from the 1895 volume
An advertisement from the 1895 volume.


Visit the State Library website to search the digitised Sands and McDougall directories.


Other records that may be of interest:


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