WA Heritage Film

DONATE NOW to support the film digitisation program at the State Library.

The State Library of Western Australia wants everyone to have access to Western Australia’s documentary film collection.

The Library has collected over 10,000 films from material donated by individuals and former Western Australian businesses. 

The films feature the most remarkable images of life in the early days of Western Australian European settlement and development. Some of the examples can be viewed below:

The film collection has significant heritage value and provides enormous value to amateur and professional historians, genealogists, school students, journalists and special interest groups.

Western Australian Heritage Film Collection – Some Facts

  • The oldest original film held at the State Library is Royal Show 1909  – this film has been digitised.
  • The earliest images of Perth street scenes were recorded in 1907. The State Library holds a copy of the film.
  • A trip to Rottnest 1912 is believed to be the earliest government commissioned film on WA.
  • The estimated cost for preparation, cleaning and digitisising a 30 min (300 metres) 16mm film is $400. Factors considered in this process include the physical format of the film, condition of the film, length of film and if sound is on a separate reel to the images.
  • The Library has collected over 10,000 films from material donated by individuals and former Western Australian businesses.

Explore some of the State Library of Western Australia's film collection highlights.

Why preserve and digitise old films?

These films provide the rich detail about life in Western Australia. By preserving and digitising them, they can be made accessible online and viewable from any location via the internet.

UNESCO identifies that audio visual documents including film, audio and visual recordings are extremely vulnerable to aging and estimates internationally, there is no more than 10 to 15 years within which to transfer audio visual records to digital format to prevent their loss.

If you wish to support the film digitisation program at the State Library, please DONATE NOW.

Last updated on: 01 Nov 2018