There are several really useful avenues available to assist personal research. A starting point is the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office. It is located on the second floor of the State Library, 91 Murray Street, Hobart, or can be contacted through local branches of the State Library of Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office has Post Office Directories and Assessment and Valuation Rolls. Post Office Directories (from 1890 to 1948) list each street in Tasmania alphabetically and the house numbers with their occupants. It's worth beginning at 1948 and working backwards to the 1890s. Assessment and Valuation Rolls (Published in the Hobart Town/Tasmanian Government Gazette) between 1847 and the 1950s can also assist. These provide information about the owner, occupier (not always the same), the rated value etc. The index is in a hardbound folder (ask the Archivist to help you) and the gazettes themselves are on microfilm. A large increase in the annual value usually indicates the construction of a building. The Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office also has some reports dealing with particular land grants and transactions, known as Caveat Board Reports.
A title search (Lands Titles Office, 1st Floor, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart) will establish the history of the land ownership from the 1830s, but this is time consuming and can be expensive. It's worth doing if you want irrefutable evidence of the history of the site. Other places to search are local planning authorities, historical societies and museums in your local area. For more information and please view our brochure 'Researching Historic Heritage Places'.
General historical information and photographs can be found in books and publications of your suburb or area. Some may be located in the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office or a branch of the State Library of Tasmania. It may also be useful if you have the names of former owners, because there may be biographical material that includes photographs of a family home. Photographic records are also located at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart and Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston. You will need to contact these organisations to arrange to view the photographs.
Most property owners undertake their own research. Adult Education often offers courses in researching the history of houses. Contact Adult Education directly to find out about upcoming courses, or keep an eye out in your local newspaper for the next Adult Education guide. Alternatively, you can engage a private historian to research the history of a house or place for a fee. Historians may be sought through your local historical society, or through the Telstra's yellow pages. Alternatively, you may access Heritage Tasmania's Heritage Services Directory which provides names and contact details for some historians and other heritage professionals who have registered with this free service.