Theatrical Genealogy

 So you have a relative who was in the Australian theatre? 

Here are some places to find them.

This site:

There are two places to look for theatrical ancestors on this site.

1. An 18000 name list of people who performed in the Australian Theatre.

2. Indexed Theatre Programmes- A project to index the hundreds of theatre programmes I own. Names of performers are indexed.

Other Sites;

Trove newspapers. - Australian searchable newspaper database

State Library of Victoria- Australiana database ( has Theatre Magazine indexed)

Austage- Performing artists database.


For vaudeville performers. For many years,  The Referee newspaper in Sydney had a couple of regular pages on theatrical doings.. The Referee is now indexed by Trove.

From 1913-1921, there was a magazine called Australian Variety. This is not indexed, but is available on microfilm from the State Libraries.

For legitimate theatre- Theatre Magazine, which has been indexed by the State Library of Victoria is a good resource. 

General Research;

Austage is a very large database which is growing all the time. It has indexed thousands of programmes from Australian productions. It is limited as it is a volunteer project and relies on access to programmes.

For international research, both Variety and Billboard magazine are available through the internet archive for free.

The British newspaper archive is pay walled after a few free searches, but worth a shot.

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