Genealogy Centre

The Genealogy Centre is located on the 3rd floor of the State Library in the J S Battye Library of West Australian History. The Centre was opened in December 1999 to cater for an increased interest in family history in the community. It houses an extensive collection of resources which can be used to trace your ancestors from around the world. The collection is particularly strong for Australian states and territories, Britain and New Zealand and we are beginning to collect material for other parts of the world where available.


The Genealogy Centre is open during normal library opening hours and there is a staff member on duty who will be able to help you get started in your research. Volunteers from the Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc. provide extra assistance to family history researchers on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9.30am to 1.00pm.

Tours of the Genealogy Centre are conducted by the Family History Subject Specialists once a month from February through to November.

Overview of the Collection

The collection houses material in printed format, on microfilm, microfiche, CD-ROM and also provides PCs for access to the Internet and databases. Material on microfiche and microfilm can be scanned and printed, emailed or saved to your thumb drive using the ST200X scanners.

The types of resources available for family history researchers include indexes to births, marriages and deaths, newspapers, electoral rolls, directories and maps. There are also records relating to cemeteries, census, convicts, courts, immigration, land allocation, probate and the military.

How do I find what I want?

The key to finding anything within the State Library is our catalogue. Generally, the best way to find family history material is to search under keyword using a geographic location and a type of record e.g. tasmania passenger lists or new south wales census. Also, try browsing our Guides to Family History which highlight important material both within our collections and on the Internet.

Key Resources

Archives relating to the transportation of convicts from Ireland to Australia
This microfilm collection is from the National Archives in Dublin. Search for a name using the Ireland-Australia transportation database and you will find a reference to the microfilm reel number. More information about convicts is available on microfilm than you will find online.

Australian Joint Copying Project
The Genealogy Centre holds nearly 5,000 reels of Australian Joint Copying Project microfilm. These reels contain copies of original records relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific held at the National Archives at Kew as well as other libraries and archives in Britain.

Genealogical Research Kit
This is a major collection of records issued by the Archives Authority of New South Wales which includes details of births, marriages and deaths, convicts, immigration, and land allocation for the period 1788 to 1900. For detailed information on how to use the kit, please refer to the handbook located on top of the microform cabinets. For a full list of what is available search our catalogue under genealogy research kit.

Queensland public records historical resource kit
A major collection of records issued by the Queensland State Archives consisting of three parts:
Part 1 - Immigration records 1848-1923
Part 2 - State electoral rolls 1860-1900
Part 3 - Naturalisation records 1851-1905
For detailed information on how to use the kit, please refer to the handbooks located on top of the microform cabinets.

We also have a range of electronic resources including

  • Ancestry Library Edition
  • British Newspapers 1600-1900
  • Findmypast
  • Times Digital Archive 1785-2008

See Family History eresources for a full list of titles available.

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Page last updated: Friday 18 July 2014

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