Obituaries Australia Provides Information on Over 2700 Australians

Obituaries Australia Home Page

Obituaries Australia Home Page

In April, The Australian National University launched Obituaries Australia, an online Web site that aggregates information on over 2700 Australians, in obituary or biography format. It’s available at You can search this Web site by keyword, of course, but there are a number of ways you can browse, too. You can browse by date of death, date of birth (I saw biographies going back to the 1700s), name, author (who wrote the item), or publication (where the item appeared.) You can also browse by lists (awards, clubs, military service, etc.)

I did a name search for Smith and got 26 results. Results include name of the person, birth-death years, and sometimes a little blurb about the person (“diplomat, public servant and Japanophile,” “ironmonger,” “surgeon and photographer,” etc.) “Surgon and Photographer” looked interesting, so I clicked on the obituary for Julian Augustus Smith.

This detail page had the obituary as it originally appeared in The Argus (there’s also a link to the original), a picture of Dr. Smith, and a sidebar with a life summary including birth and death dates, religious influence, and occupation. The items in the sidebar are clickable so you can browse lists of Australians by various characteristics — occupation, cause of death, religious influence, etc. There’s even a list of bushrangers available which includes Jack Donohoe.)

Sometimes the biographies are more extensive, as for Issy Smith. Sergeant Smith’s obituary information includes links to another obituary, several links to articles about him in newspaper archives, and a very extensive sidebar.

I’m impressed with both the amount of information here but also the external links to newspaper archives and the extensive cross-linking. Useful reference site.

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