The following are identified as suitable for students and provide an overview of this topic:

  • CYGNET Swan River Booklets (994.102 CYG)
    A set of booklets on the early history of Western Australia. Booklet no. 6 is about Dirk Hartog and booklet no. 8 is about William Dampier.

  • Exploration Diaries (PR 5441)
    A set of 6 volumes of copies of original exploration journals 1827-1871. As these volumes contain inaccuracies and mistakes, it is recommended that the researcher use the two volumes edited by Hercock, Milentis and Bianchi and Shoobert (see below) for the period 1826-1845, as they are far more comprehensive, accurate and reliable.

  • FINKEL, George  Western Australia, 1829-1900 (Q994.1 FIN)
    Discoveries by sea pp. 12-23; the explorers pp. 30-36.

  • HASLUCK, Alexandra  Western Australia’s colonial years (994.102 HAS)
    Suitable for middle-upper primary.

  • HERCOCK, Marion, MILENTIS, Sheryl & BIANCHI, Phil (editors) Western Australian exploration (994.102 WES)
    Volume 2 1836-1845: the letters, reports & journals of exploration and discovery in Western Australia.

  • KOUTSOUKIS, A J  Western Australia: a brief history (994.1 KOU)
    European discovery pp 6-15: Exploration pp 24-26, 34-35, 39-41.

  • SHOOBERT, Joanne (ed) Western Australian Exploration (994.102 WES)
    Volume 1 1826-1835: the letters, reports & journals of exploration and discovery in Western Australia.

  • STOKES, John  The Western State (994.1 STO)
    Dirk Hartog, Willem Vlamingh, William Dampier, George Vancouver, Geographe, Naturaliste, etc, explorers of the Western State.

  • Western Australia: an atlas of human endeavour (Q994.1 WES)
    Includes large colour maps and text pp. 38-43.

  • WILLIAMS, A.E. Western Australia a potted history 1616-1870s (994.1 WIL)
    Hartog and Vlamingh pp. 1-16, Willem de Vlamingh and the Swan River pp. 17-32, HMS Success – Stirling exploring the Swan pp. 33-48.

For More Information Check:

  • Pictorial Collection Index (card) – for photographs. (Note: photographs are also being catalogued on-line).

Some Subject Headings To Search Under:

  • Exploration
  • Names Of Explorers e.g. Grey, Sir George
  • Place Names e.g. Kimberley, York
  • Western Australia – Discovery And Exploration
General and local histories may have sections on discovery and exploration.

How To Obtain An Item

Items from our storage stack area can now be requested on-line. Simply click request when you require an item and follow the instructions. Private archive material still requires a call slip. From the General Index note the reference e.g. WA 25/6/1983 p. 4 and staff will be pleased to indicate where the item may be found.


Browsing the shelves is another useful way of finding information. Some useful numbers are: 919.41 - geography and travel & 994.1 - history. Biographies are shelved at the end of the number sequences and are prefixed by a ‘B’ e.g. B/ROE.
Please note: Not all books are on the open shelves and you may need to ask for a book to be brought out from the stack.

Remember, if you need help ask at the enquiry desk or visit our website.

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Page last updated: Wednesday 13 June 2012

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