Biographical Database of Australia

Biographies : Published


1788-1820 Association Pioneer Biographies

Australia Biographical & Genealogical Record – Series 1 – 1788-1841 (1 volume)

Australia Biographical & Genealogical Record – Series 2 – 1842-1899 (3 volumes)

Australian Men of Mark 1889-1890 (2 volumes – eight known variations of Vol. 2)

Aldine Centennial History NSW 1888 (2 volumes – eleven known variations of Vol. 2)

Aldine History of Queensland 1888 (2 volumes)

Aldine History of South Australia 1890 (2 volumes)

Victoria & Metropolis 1888 (2 volumes)

Cyclopedia of Tasmania 1900 (2 volumes)

Cyclopedia of NSW 1907 (& 1909 additions)

Cyclopedia of Victoria 1903-5 (3 volumes)

Cyclopaedia of Australasia 1881  by David Blair *

Cyclopedia of South Australia 1907-1909 (2 volumes)  *

Cyclopedia of Western Australia 1912-1913 (2 volumes)  *

Australian Dictionary of Dates & Men of the Time 1542-1879  by J.H. Heaton

Dictionary of Australasian Biography 1855-1892  by Philip Mennell

Australian Pioneers & Reminiscences 1896  by Nehemiah Bartley  *

Dictionary of Australian Biography 1949  by Percival Serle

Queensland Men of the Time 1885-1900

The Colonial Garrison 1817-1824 – 48th Regiment – by Clem Sargent

Index to Australian Dictionary of Biography 1788-1850 A-Z (2 volumes)

Fifty Years Progress in Australia 1878-1928

Free Presbyterian Church of Australia 1947

* These items are not yet included in the Database.


The 1888 Centennial of the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney was the catalyst for writers and publishers to produce a variety of historical and biographical volumes.

Many of these volumes included general chapters on the history of Australia, or the colony that was the subject of the book. Many also included biographical sections containing items about prominent people and less well known professionals, business men and farmers, some in surname order, some in town order and others with no particular order, in which cases there is usually an index. Together they provide a remarkable snapshot of a significant chunk of the Australian middle classes in late Victorian and Federation Australia

Some publishers charged people to submit entries about themselves or their father. The vast majority are men, but many women are mentioned within the biographies. A few women are the subject of biographies in their own right.

This spate of publications in the late 1880s was followed by a Cyclopedia of most colonies, published from the 1890s through to 1913. Many of these also contained biographical sections.

BDA has been given permission to copy and transcribe the full text of biographies from many of these publications from scanned copies made by Gould Genealogy ( which is greatly appreciated.

Of the publications listed above those highlighted are now included in the database. Those marked with an asterisk are being prepared for inclusion in the database at a later date.

Click on those highlighted to view more detailed information.

This general information page has been compiled by Malcolm Sainty, May 2013.

The text on this page is copyright. Permission to reproduce it should be obtained from BDA.