Finding Indigenous Ephemera

Our Ephemera collection consist of a wide range of transitory materials produced in relation to an issue or event or by a particular organisation.  Collections can be made up of information brochures, flyers, speech notes, ticket stubs and other memorabilia. The material is often grouped together into collections of materials based around either the topic or issue, the locality, or the name of an organisation. There are also collections based on material type or format.  Each collection is identified by a number with a "PR" preceding it. 

A collection can be 'closed', that is no other materials are being added to it; or 'open', meaning that materials will continue to be added to the collection. 

 Finding Ephemera in our Catalogue

You can use our library catalougue to focus in on our ephemera collection by selecting 'ephemera'  as a material type from our advance search field.  For example a search using the keyword "Aborigin*" brings up 210 catalogued ephemera recordss with a range of subject headings, including for instance;

  • Aboriginal Australians - Western Australia - Biography
  • Aboriginal Australians - Land Tenure - Western Australia
  • Artists - Western Australia - Biography
  • Women - Aboriginal Australian, Education
  • National parks and reserves - Western Australia - management

It is important to remember that like our archives collection, an ephemera catalogue record can refer to more than one item, sometimes even hundreds of items and that a seperate index or listing of these items will need to be looked at to get a feel for the full breadth of the collection.  Sometimes these are attached electronically to the record or you may have to consult the physical Ephemera Index isting in our Westralia section of the State Library of WA.

 Using our Ephemera Index Listing to locate a collection

Another way to explore the ephemera collection is through looking over the ephemera collection categories index situated on the 3rd floor within the JS Battye - Westeralia section of the State Library of WA.  The top level of this index is organised as an alphabetical listing within these broad areas:

  • Organisation Names - for example Wangaka Maya Aboriginal Corporation (PR14819).
  • Subject Area - for example the "farms, stations, missions and Aboriginal communities" subject category (PR14529) and
  • Locality Areas or local government areas with sub-categories for business, community, culture, education, history and tourism
  • Ephemera Formats such as stickers, matchboxes, licenses, tickets, complimentary slips

This broad Ephemera Index listing will give you the PR number related to the collection of ephemera you are interested in.  Listings of the types of items held within each PR are held in numerical order in files at the same location as the general index.  The group of filing cabinets besides these files hold many of the actual collection items though a significant a number are in our storage areas (stack) outside of public areas.  You can request any of these from the reference librarain on the desk.

See our WA Material, Ephemera page for more general information.

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Page last updated: Tuesday 19 April 2011

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