Compiling a house history

There are a number of resources available to help you trace the history of your house.

Sands and McDougall Directories
Compiled between 1861 and 1974 they give the occupier of every home, shop or business in Melbourne in any given year. By tracing back through the years you can determine when your home was built and who the previous occupants were. These directories are held at Preston Library on microfiche and some years are also available on the Genealogy computers at Preston. Please note that in the earlier years street numbers were not used and in later years some streets were re-numbered due to subdivision. A good idea is to use the names of people close by over the years to identify properties.

Rate Books 
Rate books can also provide valuable information and a set of these are held at Preston Library on microfilm. These rate books only cover Northcote (1883 – 1901). Some Preston rate books can be accessed from the Public Records Office of Victoria.

MMBW maps
The Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works maps provide a wealth of detail, on settlement of Darebin. Most of the maps date from the early 1900s. These maps are available from the State Library of Victoria, many can be viewed online. Darebin Libraries holds a number of maps in this series in our archives. Darebin Libraries also holds several local maps compiled by the Northcote Council.

Local newspapers
The real estate sections of the Preston and Northcote Leaders are excellent sources of information regarding homes in the area and can be used to trace the previous sales of your home. Copies of the Northcote Leader from 1888 and the Preston Post Times / Preston Leader from 1978 until the present day are available on computers in the Genealogy area at Preston Library.

Heritage Reviews
Darebin Historical Review: 2000 by Andrew Ward provides historical and architectural information on virtually every significant home or building within Darebin. This publication is available in the Reference collection at Darebin Libraries. An online database of significant buildings that can be searched on the City of Darebin website

How to trace the history of your house by Des Regan & Kate Press
National Trust Research Manual: trace the history of your house or other places edited by Celestina Sagazio.
Northcote side of the river by Andrew Lemon
History of Northcote by W.G.Swift
Northcote: glimpses of our past by Northcote Historical Society
Illustrated history of Preston by Brian Carrol and Andrew Rule
Preston lands and people by H.W. Forster

Finally, if you need any help finding or using these resources please ask a member of staff at Darebin Libraries.