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Free remote access to Ancestry and the Gale News Archive at National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia (NLA) is the latest public library to provide free remote access to the commercial genealogy database giant Ancestry. The access period will last while the NLA is closed to the public.

Picture of the Australian Natioanl Library in Canberra. courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

The remote access is open to people who have a current NLA library card. If you don't already have one (or it has time expired) you can register online at (Sorry, Australian citizens and Australian residents only.)

Once you have registered with the NLA, you are not restricted to Ancestry. Family history is one of the NLA's main collections. Some of the digital collection is always accessible via the e-Resources webpage and they are working hard to digitize more records.

The NLA's e-Resources are not just focussed on Australian family history. They also have an international family history section online.

Gale News Archive

My favourite item is the Gale News Vault which is a fully text-searchable database of historical newspapers (for example, the London Times and Sunday Times).

Description of the Gale News Vault on the NLA's e-Resources web page. Courtesy of

Above : Description of the Gale News Vault on the NLA's e-Resources page.

How do I get to Ancestry or the Gale News Archive?

To access Ancestry or the Gale News Archive (and other NLA digital family history resources):

  • Click here to go to the NLA Home page;

  • Scroll down and click on the e-Resources picture;

  • Log in using your library card details (or register first if not already a member);

  • Click the Browse e-Resources tab;

  • Click the + sign beside Genealogy (left side of screen)

  • Click Genealogy (O/seas); and

  • Scroll down to find Ancestry or the Gale News Archive (or any other items of interest).

Note: Some of the e-Resources listed may only be available to view on-site at the NLA.

Screen shot of the overseas Genealogy section on the National Library of Australia's e-Resources webpage.

Above : an extract from the NLA's Overseas Genealogy section of their e-Resources web page.


This is a great opportunity for temporary access to Ancestry free of charge from home without going out into the cold to a local library. It's also a good opportunity to see what else the NLA has to offer online all year round for we genealogists.

If you know anyone who would benefit from remote access to the NLA's e-Resources, particularly, don't hesitate to share this Blog post.

I trust you are all staying safe and healthy during the current pandemic. Hopefully we are starting to see the light at the end of the self-isolation tunnel here in Australia.

In the meantime, happy ancestor hunting.


Your Family Genealogist

Pictures : courtesy of the National Library of Australia

Gif : from NBC's The Village

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