The State Library holds over 4,500 Western Australian titles in film, video or DVD format. It is a collection of unique historical and contemporary films, videos and television productions, produced in and/or relating to Western Australia dating from 1907 to the present day. The State Library is responsible for collecting Western Australia's motion picture history and this includes government and privately made films, videos and DVDs as well as newsreels, commercial and educational films.
The collection covers many aspects of Western Australian life and history. It is particularly strong for the late 1930s to the early 1960s with the Government Film Unit productions, the Westralian News newsreel series, and various notable private collections. Films, videos, DVDs and television productions that document the development, history and lifestyle of Western Australia and its people are being collected currently.
Most types of film, video and DVD formats have been collected over the years. Each format requires specific handling conditions to enhance its preservation and a significant proportion of the collection has been transferred to video or DVD.
Access to the Collection
Films, videos and DVDs can be accessed through the State Library catalogue. Films can be viewed by appointment; there is a minimum 24 hour delay before original films can be viewed due to preservation considerations. A significant proportion of the collection has been transferred to video and DVD to ensure easy viewing access and these are available for view in the Music and Performing Arts Library.
If a copy of a video or DVD is required, information can be provided relating to its copyright status and procedures for obtaining reproduction clearances. Upon receipt of written permission, the video or DVD can be released for duplication.
Full shot lists of pre-1950 films in the collection can be accessed by perusing a three volume bibliography by Kaylene Heard called Bibliography of 16mm film produced in Western Australia to 1950 from the State Film Archives of Western Australia.
Film Collection Highlights
The Film Collection Highlights tell stories of Western Australia, showing different aspects of the State's history over a period of years.