Victorian era

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: 11/06/18

Introduction

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.

General websites

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.

DKFindOut!

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

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.

BBC History

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 We can expect the information to be accurate even though it appears the page is no longer being updated.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.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

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.

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

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.

Books

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:

SCIS no: 1845083
managed by
proudly supported by

Acceptable Use

Acceptable use means acting like a good citizen online. How you behave online should be the same as how you behave offline (in the real world). AnyQuestions is a free service, staffed by real people from libraries right around New Zealand. Please be respectful and polite to our librarians. We like helping people who show good manners :)


We may end a chat session if we think you are being inappropriate or misbehaving, this includes:

  • Using racist/sexist, offensive or obscene language.

    Please don’t use mean or cruel words when talking to or about someone else; whether they are a male or female, or of another race or skin colour. Obscene language means using words that would upset your grandparents!

  • Using the service to transmit messages that harass or threaten the operators.

    Please don’t be mean to our librarians or act like a bully.

  • Visiting an objectionable website while in session with an operator.

    An objectionable website means a website that you really wouldn’t want your grandparents looking over your shoulder at!

  • Deliberately time wasting in a way that denies service to other legitimate users.

    Time wasting means being silly and not working with our librarians. Time wasting means other students are not getting help, and that isn’t nice!

  • Any form of vandalism, including damaging computer systems or networks and knowingly introducing programs such as computer viruses and worms.

    You might be technically savvy and know about web viruses and worms and how they affect computers but please don’t spread these. It takes our attention away from helping you and other students.

  • AnyQuestions reserves the right to disconnect users at the operator’s discretion. AnyQuestions might also block access to the service for repeat offenders.

    If you act like a troll then we’ll end the chat. Remember everything digital or online can be traced and we can track it back to where you came from and/or your school. If you misbehave on AnyQuestions then we will be in touch with your school or we will block you from accessing AnyQuestions.