Archival materials and preservation copies

Register as a Researcher

Before using archival records or preservation copies of books, it is necessary for clients to register as a researcher and be issued with a Researcher's Library Card. Clients can do this by completing a registration form at the Enquiries Desk in the Battye Library's Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room. There is no charge for registration, but appropriate identification - such as a driver's licence or a passport - needs to be provided. As part of the registration process, researchers must also sign an agreement to abide by the "Conditions for the Use Archival Records". A Researcher's Library Card is valid for 5 years and must be produced each time records are requested.

If you are not a resident of Western Australia, you are only eligible for a Visiting  Researcher's Library Card which is valid for the duration of your visit to the Library.

Members up to the age of 17 years are not permitted to use original archival material or preservation copies of books unless accompanied by an adult.

Conditions for the Use of Archival Records and Preservation Copies of Books

The following conditions apply to all clients who wish to access archival records:

  1. A current Researcher's Library Card must be issued to a researcher before access to archival material or preservation copies will be granted.
  2. The Card will be issued to researchers on their first visit to the Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room and is valid for five years from date of issue. It is not transferable, and must be shown to staff each time records or preservation copies are received.
  3. Students up to and including Year 12 are not permitted to use original archival material unless accompanied by an adult.
  4. Records and preservation copies are retrieved and delivered from the Archives stack area on the half hour.
  5. Researchers are asked to respect the physical integrity of the records while handling them.
    For example:
    • Records are not to be marked or damaged
    • Loose papers in files should be left in their original order
    • Pencils only are to be used for note taking
    • Use of post-it notes is not allowed
    • Researchers agree to comply with any privacy conditions that may apply when they access the records.


Some material may be photocopied if requested. Approval for photocopying must be sought from staff and photocopying is only undertaken by staff. As a general rule the following items may not be photocopied:

  • Records that predate 1900
  • Bound volumes
  • Original items where a microfilm or other copy exists.

When researchers have no further use for the records, the records should be handed to a staff member. Records and preservation copies may only be read in the Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room.

If access to any records is restricted this is noted in the finding aids. Staff will advise researchers of the appropriate access application procedure.

State Records Office Records

If you want to view archival records held at the State Records Office please check the State Records Office website for retrievals information.

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Page last updated: Saturday 4 June 2016

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