Collecting Profile - Family History

To be read in conjunction with the overarching principles and general principles for reference material or heritage material as relevant.


We provide Western Australians with free and equitable access to genealogical and social history resources to assist people exploring their personal histories.

Collecting intent

The focus of the collection is on Western Australian related material, however as many Western Australians or their families were not born in Western Australia we also selectively collect resources relating to geographically and ethnically diverse social and personal histories, including family histories.


We will continue to develop this collection to ensure it is a comprehensive collection of Western Australian material.  Historically, the wider collection has been based on Australian, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Irish records. We will continue to selectively purchase relevant resources in these areas as well as building resources relating to other areas with a strong migration history to Australia.

We provide access to a core collection of family history journals and maintain a small collection of introductory guides.

Our collecting emphasis is on resources in which personal names are referenced. These include key resources such as birth, death and marriage registers, census records and electoral rolls as well as passenger and crew lists, personnel records, biographical dictionaries, church records, military records, newspapers, post office directories and commercial and occupational directories.

We collect a wide range of relevant historical resources including military histories, records from ships or shipping, Western Australian and selective Australian local histories and business records.

We collect resources relating to the family and social history of Indigenous Western Australians. Original farm station records, church and private organization records, photographs and maps are a particular focus of this collecting.  We also provide access to finding aids to relevant documents held in other government, church or private organizations.


This collection complements resources held by the Western Australian Genealogical Society, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and other state and genealogy libraries including State Records Officeand the National Archives.


All formats are considered. Where there are multiple formats available, clients search needs, long term access and ease of access will be crucial factors in determining preferred format.


This collection is predominantly English however we will consider collecting significant family history resources with no available English translation.

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Page last updated: Thursday 27 June 2013

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