Where can I find facts and information about life in the Victorian era?
Image: School portrait of a class of boys & teachers by [unknown]. Collection: Te Papa (modified from original).
Entry last updated: 19/12/19
The Victorian era is the period when Queen Victoria was Queen of England. Her reign began on 20 June 1837 and ended when she died on 22 January 1901. Daily life in Victorian times was very different from life today, both in Britain and in New Zealand.
There are some great websites that have useful and reliable information about the Victorian era. In these websites you will find information about daily life and key events in the Victorian era.
This website has facts and pictures on lots of different topics, including Victorian Britain.
- Scroll down the page to select History.
- Then find the link that says Victorian Britain.
- The images on the page will lead you to different aspects of life, like Victorian cities or Victorian workers.
Tips: This site has been especially put together for schools to use. You'll notice can use this site for other topics too.
Britannica School is part of EPIC, a collection of reliable databases put together especially for New Zealand schools.
- Use search words 'Victorian era' to bring up results.
- Try the link called Victorian Age (19th century).
- Remember to explore Social Conditions and Cultural life and Industrial and Scientific Progress from the article contents.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online.
This website is run by BBC, a reliable British news agency. We can expect the information to be accurate even though it appears the page is no longer being updated.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select British History.
- Go down to Victorian Britain (1837 - 1901).
- Select Go to Victorians.
This section covers all the important stuff, including the Industrial Revolution, Victorian technology and daily life in Victorian Britain.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About the BBC link that you will find at the end of the page.
New Zealand websites
New Zealand websites are the perfect place to find information about New Zealand during the Victorian era.
This website is another excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. There is lots of information about everyday life, education, architecture and more in New Zealand in the Victorian era.
There are different ways of exploring this website.
- Select the tab Sections.
- Then go to Daily life, Sport and Recreation.
- Finally choose Children’s play.
This page includes children’s play in New Zealand during the Victorian era.
- Go to Keywords.
- Select Education and Training.
- Find Primary and Secondary Education and go to Education from 1840 to 1918.
This has information about educationin New Zealand in the Victorian era.
- Use keywords such as ‘Victorian era’, 'Victorian architecture’ or ‘Victorian families’ in the search box and explore the articles and images that come up.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa.
- Go to the Topics section.
- Select The Classroom.
- Select NCEA History.
- Find the page called NZ in the 19th century.
There are 5 sections in the article, giving an overview of New Zealand in each part of the 19th century and revision activities to test your knowledge!
Tips: NZHistory and Te Ara are great for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. They both belong to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
There have been many books written about the Victorian era - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.
Some recommended titles are:
- The Victorians by Ruth Brocklehurst
- Villainous Victorians by Terry Deary
- Victorian children by Brenda Williams
- Victorians by Ann Kramer.