Find People

Living people

Telephone directories are a great start for tracking down someone you've lost.  The quickest way to find a current telephone number is to use the internet - but how do you find the right website?  Sometimes a print resource may still be the best way to find what you need.  Use Find Telephone Numbers and Postcodes to locate the sites and publications you can use to find that elusive person.

The Australian Commonwealth Electoral Roll has been published on microfiche since 1987.  It is arranged in one alphabetical sequence for each state and is published twice per year. The Library holds electoral rolls up to 2008. Ask staff for assistance with the electoral rolls. 

If you are tracing lost family members you may need to contact the Salvation Army Family Tracing Service or the Australian Red Cross Around the World Tracing and Refugee Service.


Trying to find those elusive ancestors?  The State Library of Western Australia has extensive resources for the genealogist or family historian.  Use our Guide to Family History to find a wealth of print and electronic resources.


Looking for information on a famous person?  The library has many resources to help you in your search.

Search the catalogue

Do a subject search using the name of the person (surname first) to find published biographies.  Biographies are shelved in a separate sequence in the library with the call number such as B/KEA - where B stands for Biography and is followed by the first three letters of the subject's surname.

Use biographical publications

Use publications such as Australian Dictionary of Biography,  the multi volume Dictionary of Western Australians (both for dead people), Who's Who in Australia  or Current Biography (for the living).  Encyclopedias are also a good source of brief biographies - ask our staff for help!  The Uncommon Lives section of the National Archives of Australia gives more information on famous and not so famous Australians.

Use Contact Directories

Use celebrity contact guides such as Margaret Gee's Australian Celebrity Contact Book or Ten-Tronck's Celebrity Directory to find contact addresses for famous people.

Electronic databases

Our Electronic Resources are also a good source of Biographical information.  You may search in Encyclopedia Britannica online, or  in EBSCOhost databases you may be able to narrow your search to biographical information.  If you have a current membership card from any Western Australian Public Library you can search Encyclopedia Britannica and EBSCOHost's Australia New Zealand Reference Centre as part of our Databases from Home service.


There's probably more information out there - ask our staff for help and you'll soon know more!

Share this page   share on Facebook share on Twitter share on stumbleupon

Page last updated: Monday 13 April 2015

printer friendly