Also see Business Records.
Publicans and spirit merchants need to be licensed before they could sell alcohol. In 1851 two other types of licenses were introduced: a packet licence (ship) and a confectioner's licence (this was confined to the sale of spruce beer and ginger beer). In 1864 a single bottle or grocer's licence was introduced which was held only by a spirit merchant. Until 1968 publicans and other retailers of alcohol needed to apply for or renew their licenses through the courts. See Court Records. Applications or renewals may be reported in newspapers. See Newspapers, Magazines and Journals.
In 1854 spirit merchants were required to be registered.
MUSEUMS OF HISTORY, NEW SOUTH WALES STATE ARCHIVES COLLECTION - PUBLICANS' LICENSES INDEX 1830-1861 (NRS 14401, NRS 14402, NRS14403)
ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, CERTIFICATES FOR PUBLICANS' LICENCES, 1830-1849, 1853-1899
These are provided in association with State Records Authority of NSW. This is a collection of publicans' licenses for public houses in New South Wales between 1830 to 1899. The collection includes butts of licenses that stretch from 1830 to 1899 and actual certificates from 1853 to 1860. The licenses gave different establishments the legal right to sell alcohol. Not all of the licenses were for alcohol, other uses included confectioners, billiard, night, and packet licenses, but the majority were for public houses or pubs. They may be browsed and they are searchable.
FAMILYSEARCH - LICENSING 1841-1842
Butts of publicans' licences. Original records were held at the Library of New South Wales, Sydney.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION (VA 1110)
Public Record Office Victoria holds many records relating to liquor licensing. They include licence registers and license case files. They are not online with the exception of the series named below.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - INDEX TO DEFUNCT HOTEL LICENCES (VPRS 8159)
The index cards have been digitized.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - LICENSE CASE FILES (VPRS 7712)
These are indexed by hotel name through the catalogue. The records are not online.
VICTORIAN COMMISSION FOR GAMBLING AND LIQUOR REGULATION
Current liquor licences and applications in Victoria may be searched.
VICTORIAN COMMISSION FOR GAMBLING AND LIQUOR REGULATION 2016-PRESENT
GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL INDEX OF NAMES - MARION BUTTON PUBS AND PUBLICANS INDEX 1840-1854
These are extracted from the Port Phillip Herald and The Argus.
STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA - ROBERT K COLE VICTORIAN HOTELS INDEX c1841-1949
This contains over 21,000 names of Melbourne and metropolitan hotel licensees as well as over 16,000 names of hotels and/or licensees from country Victoria.The online index entries contain information such as the name of a licensee or owner, the location of the hotel, dates when the licence was held, and volume and page numbers, which can be used to locate a detailed entry in the Robert K Cole collection of hotel records.The information was gathered by Robert Cole from various sources such as post office directories, and newspaper and trade journal notices.
BENDIGO FAMILY HISTORY GROUP - APPLICATIONS FOR LICENCES INDEX 1856, 1886 (INTERNET ARCHIVE WAYBACK MACHINE)
A list of names from the Sandhurst and Eaglehawk Licensing Court for 1886 listed in the Bendigo Advertiser. Also a list of names taken from the Courier of the Mines newspaper for the year 1856. This snapshot is dated 6 May 2021.
STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA - FINDING YOUR ANCESTORS' OCCUPATIONS: PUBLICANS
This lists resources held by the state library relating to publicans.
TROVE NEWSPAPERS - VIGILANTE 1918
Vigilante was published by the Victorian Branch, United Licensed Victuallers' Associaton of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Publicans advertised in newspapers. See Newspapers, Magazines and Journals.