Indexes and Catalogues


The State Library holds some indexes and catalogues which provide references to Western Australian material, subjects and people.

While the published and archival material relating to Western Australia can be located through the State Library Catalogue, most photographs are still only accessible via a card index.

Material relating to aspects of Western Australia or to Western Australians contained in some newspapers, serials and books has been selectively indexed over the years onto cards (indexing done up to 1984 is now microfiched). This indexing is now being done in the State Library Catalogue and retrospective indexing of material from card and microfiche indexes has commenced.

Family History

There are numerous catalogues and indexes of interest to genealogists. The Western Australian Family History Indexes list covers many of these.


Pictorial Collection Index (Card Index)
The Pictorial Collection consists of photographs, postcards, slides, albums, glass negatives, illustrations and artworks, which are indexed by locality, name of person or subject. The level of indexing varies and depends on how much is known about each photograph. To protect the original photographs, a large proportion of the collection has been photocopied and bound into a series of volumes for viewing. Some photograph collections are currently being catalogued into the State Library Catalogue and this will increase in future.

Pictorial Index - SLWA Catalogue
Those photographs that have been catalogued on-line can be searched in the State Library Pictures section of the State Library Catalogue.

Miscellaneous Indexes

General Index (Microfiche)
Since 1950 selected Western Australian serials, newspapers and books (in the main although some other material has been indexed over time) have been checked by staff for articles with significant Western Australian content. Most of the articles were noted in the General Index, which contains a vast number of references to Western Australian subjects, covering towns, places, industries, businesses, buildings, land, Indigenous people, professions and occupations, etc. The index was closed in 1984 and microfiched. The bulk of the references are in the 1829-1896 and 1950-1984 period.

Biographical Index (Microfiche)
This index was compiled concurrently to the General Index and was closed at the same time. This index contains references to Western Australian people.

Wrecks Index (Microfiche)
This index was compiled concurrently to the General Index and was closed at the same time. This index contains references to ships wrecked off the coast of Western Australia, or which visited Western Australia, or those that played a significant role in its history.

Reviews Index (Microfiche)
This index was compiled concurrently to the General Index and was closed at the same time. This index contains references to reviews of Western Australian books, poetry or plays and references to some short stories.

New General Index (Card Index)
After the closure of the General Index, the Biographical Index, the Wrecks Index and the Reviews Index in 1984, a new card index, known as the New General Index was commenced. It continued the indexing done in the four indexes mentioned above, but a combined form. Also indexed into the New General Index were oral history interviews and ephemera. The new General Index was closed in 1998 and on-line indexing commenced. Most of the New General Index has been added to the on-line State Library Catalogue.

Western Australian Newspapers Index (Microfilm)
The Western Australian Newspapers Index was compiled by the staff of The West Australian and covers September 1902-1953 and July 1959-August 1987 (from August 1987 indexing has been done on-line). All articles published in The West Australian are indexed. From 1902-1930 the index is divided alphabetically, i.e. entries are made by subject under each letter of the alphabet in date order, so all subjects beginning with a particular letter are mixed. After 1930 the index is arranged by subject.

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Page last updated: Wednesday 23 February 2011

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