Heritage Help

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Heritage Help videos

Hobsons Bay Libraries heritage team has put together a series of Heritage Help videos, featuring tips on how to use the internet to explore the history of your family, your home, and more.

Check out the list of available videos on our YouTube channel

Discovering Military Records


Discover the range of military records you can search online, and find out what your ancestors did during the wars of the 20th century.

Resources used in this video:


Finding Families


This video points you in the right direction to discover the principles of family history research and the range of resources available online.

Resources used in this video:


Who Lived in My House?


This video will point you in the right direction to uncover the history of your house, from finding historic maps and plans, to discovering the names and stories of the people who lived in your home.

Resources used in this video:

Other resources:

Historical societies:

Altona Laverton Historical Society

The Altona Historical Society was formed in 1961, incorporated in 1996 and in 2000 it amalgamated with the Laverton Historical Society to form the Altona Laverton Historical Society.

Altona Homestead, originally called Laverton Homestead, was the first homestead run built on the foreshore of Port Phillip in the 1840s. It is now a museum in which the Altona Laverton Historical Society is situated.

The museum contains an eclectic mix of objects from earlier periods and photographs of the area.

The museum is located at 128 Queen Street, Altona (opposite the Altona Library).

Museum opening times:

Tuesdays: 11am to 2pm
Saturdays: 10am to 12noon
First Sunday of the month: 2pm to 4pm

Phone: (03) 9315 0527 or 0447 840 895

Williamstown Historical Society

The Williamstown Historical Society was founded in 1956, and its Museum is located in the Mechanics Institute, a National Trust listed building dating from 1860. The Museum is a comprehensive history outlet, offering books, booklets, brochures, postcards, souvenirs & research services. The collection highlights the historic seaport’s maritime history, and also includes furniture, costumes, sporting memorabilia, paintings, photographs and a wide range of social history exhibits that illustrate life in Williamstown from the 1840s.

The museum located at 5 Electra Street, Williamstown is currently undergoing renovations and the collection is in storage. Please refer to the Society’s website for updates.

History of Hobsons Bay

This history of Williamstown was developed from the 1987 Williamstown History Kit by Ada Ackerly. 

The Williamstown History Kit is a great starting point for researchers of all ages into the history of Williamstown, Newport and Spotswood and the digitisation of this resource has been funded by the State Government Local Priorities Grant.  

The contents of these pages cannot be reproduced without the permission of Hobsons Bay City Council

Looking for more information about Williamstown?

The City of Williamstown Conservation Study identifies heritage places and precincts within Williamstown. 

You can explore Hobsons Bay Libraries' Historypin channel to discover photos, videos and stories as contributed by the local community.

Historic images, maps and newspapers can be found at Trove, from the National Library of Australia.