The NFHS library collection is a huge and valuable resource. There are three rooms that make up the library. The main library, the Monica Gibbs Library contained in and next to the reception room and in the back hall, contains nearly 6,000 books and other print resources from across NSW, Australia and overseas. The 'Blue Room' holds a growing collection of USBs, CDs, maps, microfiche and microfilms and Internet access on Society computers.

The opportunity to work in this extensive library and use it to help others can be very rewarding and can uncover resources that can help your research. Please occasionally volunteer to help on days when the Library is open. Once a month would be wonderful. Visit the member page to read the information about what to do as a volunteer Librarian.

                                           NFHS Library ‘Click and Collect’

Once Covid restrictions allow us, we want members to be able to borrow books
from our library even though it’s not open for general use. Borrowers must
satisfy all Covid restrictions also.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Normal borrowing conditions apply, i.e. a maximum of 4 books for no more than 4 weeks.

  • Download the Library Catalogue from the Society’s website ( so you can search for the book you want.

  • Email your request to providing the title and call number.

  • We will let you know when the books are available (it will be during normal Society opening hours) and will give you a specific time for pickup.

  • Returning books – just email us when you have a book to return and we will arrange a time for you to drop it off.


Remember that not all books are available for borrowing, but the catalogue
doesn’t show which ones (mainly those in the A4, A5, AH5 and AN5 areas). Just
send your request and we will tell you if they’re available for borrowing. If you
need information from a book which can’t be borrowed, let us know and we
might be able to help.

Jim MacDougall,

To help members and visitors search for information, there are signs above the Surname Index files and on the window sill in the Monica Gibbs room with suggestions on how to get started. Members both old and new should keep their eye on the How to ... ? pages in the folders beside the computers and watch the newsletter to be aware of when sessions to help you negotiate the different aspects of our library are being run. 

Currently our Library Group is very carefully culling our old Journals. This involves reading old Australian and international Journals to locate important articles, putting these articles into our pamphlet files and updating our card catalogue. 

Accessing the Library Catalogue and recent acquisitions, Subject Index, and our Cemetery Indexes from home will help you to plan your visit.

Our Library holds BDM Indexes from around NSW and Australia on CD and microfiche and church records including the index to the Hunter Valley Parish Records (180,000 cards).

Over many years our researches have compiled a research index of individuals and families - the Surname Index - on whom we have information. This card index is in the back research room. Might your ancestor be there?

The Indexes to the Pioneer Registers, and the supplement to Parish Registers Index are kept on top of the Surname Index where they are more accessible. Our large collection of professionally and privately published family histories may uncover previously unknown family names.

A large number of family history journals and member interest directories from across Australia and some from further afield can be found in hard copy and in digital form in the Library. Access to these names and articles may enable researchers to find others investigating the same surnames.


Our extensive collection of Snippers' Indexes, articles in the Newcastle Morning Herald from the 1870s to the 1920s, is regularly updated.

Might any of our Convict Resources assist you in your research?


NFHS Members contribute to researching and writing publications for purchase from the Society. For a comprehensive list of the varied and thoroughly researched books, CDs or USBs that we have produced, please see our list of publications.

Our aim is to make our resources as accessible to as many members as possible. If you need help using them please ask one of our Library volunteers or keep an eye ou in our newsletter for our Library Orientation and/or How to ... ? sessions that are periodically held in the Library by our volunteers.

The NFHS Library will happily accept donations from both members and non-members. We can assess the research value of material - both books and research - that may no longer be of use to you. The NFHS Library Collections Policy outlines how we treat donated material.