State Library of South Australia

Research tips

Our staff will not undertake research for you, but are happy to provide hints and directions to get you started. Before you contact or visit the State Library, take some time to think about your task.


  • What do you really want to find out?
  • What are the key words or phrases?


  • Where will you find this information?
  • Check the Library catalogue before your visit.
  • Are there any Factsheets available for your subject? (these save valuable time)
  • Have you checked our online databases or Useful websites for information on your subject?


From the information that you have found, select the most useful to your topic:

  • Does the information have to be current?
  • Do you require primary sources eg archival material in its various formats: letters, diaries, photographs, oral histories?


  • How do I need to present this material?
  • Have I kept a trail of references for my bibliography?

Research work is a skill that improves with practice. At first the information gathering process seems daunting, but once you learn the ropes you will surprise yourself with your efficiency. Please talk to our staff at the Information Desk if you would like any assistance.

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Last Modified: 12:27 PM 25 Oct 2011

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