Western Australian Newspapers

The Swan River Guardian, 20 October 1836

Nearly 900 Western Australian newspaper titles are held by the State Library. These range from the manuscript newspapers of the early 1830s up to currently published titles. The earliest newspaper issue held by the State Library is the Fremantle Journal and General Advertiser, dated 27 February 1830.

Newspapers are lodged with the State Library under legal deposit legislation.

Using the Collection

Details of Western Australian newspaper holdings can be found by searching the State Library Catalogue. Entries can be found by title, or by subject search using the name of a town or district of publication or distribution.


Selected Western Australian newspaper titles are available digitally through Trove, a service provided by National Library of Australia in partnership with state libraries, including the State Library of Western Australia. Currently, there are 110 Western Australian newspaper titles available.

The West Australian newspaper database (August 1987 - present) is also available for limited searching by staff only.

In the Library

Newspapers that are not digitally available can be viewed at the State Library.
For preservation purposes most newspaper titles can only be viewed on microfilm, but in some instances access may be given to physical copies. Staff on the third floor service desk will be able to assist visitors needing access to non-digital newspaper copies.


Many newspaper articles with significant Western Australian subject content have been indexed by staff. Indexed articles can be found in using the online catalogue, General Index (microfiche), the Biographical Index (microfiche) and the New General Index (card), which contain index entries for articles from newspapers indexed from 1833-1997.

Wanted Newspapers

The State Library is always looking to fill gaps in its newspaper collection and to replace issues in poor condition. As part of this, the State Library is working collaboratively with other state libraries and the National Library of Australia on the Australian Newspaper Plan.

You can view lists of the State Library’s missing titles and missing issues. If you find any of the newspapers noted in these lists, please contact the State Library. Donations and information about new titles are always welcome.

In some cases the State Library is only missing some of a newspaper run (a page, an issue, or several issues). Generally, this is noted in catalogue records.

The Swan Express, 1 December 1900
The Swan Express, 1 December 1900

Highlights of the Collection

The coverage of the WA newspaper collection can be seen from the following listings.

For further assistance and information please ask a staff member at one of our service desks, via telephone on 8 9427 3111, or contact us using the Ask a Librarian service.

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Page last updated: Thursday 21 January 2016

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