Publications and research


Polly Woodside - Melbourne’s Tall Ship

Polly Woodside, Melbourne’s Tall Ship by Ann Gibson provides an in-depth social history of one of Australia’s most significant historic vessels.

The ship’s journeys around the world are presented in detail and the experiences of masters and crew are brought to life through diaries, interviews and archival sources.

The book also includes previously unpublished photographs of the award-winning restoration by the National Trust of Australia (Vic), which culminated in the ship being the first merchant ship in the world to receive the World Ship Trust Medal.

Costs are $20 (or $18 for Trust Members), plus $2.50 postage and packing within Australia.

To purchase a copy, please contact the Trust on 03 9656 9800, or email

Maritime Research Service

If you are looking for information about passengers, ships and shipping the Trust is your first ‘port of call’ for information about Melbourne’s maritime past.

The National Trust offers a Maritime Research Service based at the National Trust library at Tasma Terrace in the Melbourne CBD.

Family historians and other can get information on such things as:

  • ships consigning convicts to Sydney and Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).
  • ships from UK carrying migrants wanting to establish new lives in Australia, USA or Canada after WW1 or after WW2
  • ships of WW1 & WW2
  • inter coastal vessels around Australia plus between Australia-New Zealand and Australia-Papua/New Guinea.

The maritime library collection includes comprehensive databases of all ships visiting Australia from the 1st Fleet to the present day, supported by some 40,000 photos of ships and early views of the Melbourne Docklands. We also have a complete collection of Lloyds Registers from 1770 to the present day.

A family historian who has used our service frequently makes the following comments:

“I am extremely impressed by the service provided by the Ship Research Unit of the National Trust of Victoria. I have had made many requests to the unit for information of various ships, vessels etc.

The enthusiastic staff have been most helpful to my family history searches and I have no problems in recommending the Ship Research Unit to all researchers”.

Research costs

The research service is not free but the costs are modest. A quote for costs can be sought before research begins.

The research centre can be contacted via email on or via post:

Maritime Research Service
National Trust of Australia (Vic)
4 Parliament Place
East Melbourne 3002

Research: $20 for up to two queries (extra queries at $10 each).
For image/photograph requests, costs are $10 for a postcard size and $15 for a 8”x10”.