Storylines logo


Storylines is an online archive for the State Library's digitised heritage collections relating to Aboriginal history in Western Australia.

Members of the public can view, print and engage with thousands of photographs, as well as a growing number of oral histories, historical documents, sounds and movies. To explore the archive browse to


Storylines will assist the library in the digital return of photos and other materials directly to Aboriginal families, communities and people. It is also helping to identify many of the photographs in the J.S. Battye Collection which are currently unidentified and unknown - hundreds of photographs have been identified since 2013.

Keeping Culture KMS is the software which the system is based on and it allows objects, people, places, stories, plant, animals and technology to be tagged and linked within the system to create vast knowledge profiles which reflect the many languages, stories and perspectives of Aboriginal Western Australia. Storylines is uniquely capable of adhering to cultural protocols, and supports media types including video and audio.

It is envisaged that Storylines will become a central point for Aboriginal people who wish to access the State Library of Western Australia's extensive heritage collections, and a safe place to store records of people, place and history. Material which is identified as sensitive, secret or sacred is able to be restricted or removed in a flexible and responsive way.

As part of this project the State Library of Western Australia will be working with several remote communities to set up community-controlled archives which complement the Storylines system but will restrict access to material deemed secret, sensitive or sacred by the community. These instances will be run by the community according to their own needs and protocols.

Where is Storylines?

Storylines is an online archive which is hosted by the State Library in Perth, Western Australia which will allow users from all around the state to engage with Aboriginal stories, language, perspectives and history. There is also a community-run database in Mowanjum (Wurnan Storylines) and there are further plans to work with other remote areas to digitise, preserve and share their collections.

Storylines is managed and hosted by the State Library of Western Australia, with advice and guidance provided by an Aboriginal Reference Group in tandem with ongoing State-wide consultation.

 Mary Bear using the Storylines website
Mary Bear tagging people using Storylines at Mowanjum Community in 2014.

 How can I be involved?

The State Library runs sessions with people and organisations to identify aspects of these collections as the project moves forward, information about these events will be made available on the State Library events page, or online via EventBrite

The library is also interested in working with community groups to provide training and access to the archive, and can provide one-on-one or small group sessions if you would like to organise a group or individual trip to the State Library.

If you are interested in discussing the possibility of including your photographs, images, movies or music in the database please contact the project team.

Accessing the Storylines system:

Anyone can access Storylines from an laptop or desktop computer with internet access (tablets and smartphones are not currently supported). 

Guest access is enabled allowing you to view and print many of the photographs in the system. You are also able to leave your own comments in the form of annotations - to share your story, memories, history or knowledge.

More information on how to use the database can be found here.
You can access Storylines at

For more information on the project please contact the project team. 
General enquiries can be sent to

The Project Team: 

Project Manager: Kate Gregory,
Battye Historian 

Project Coordinator: Damien Webb,
Community Liaison (Indigenous Engagement)

Trainer and Project Officer: Andrew Meredith 

Technical Systems Coordinator: John Geijsman,
Team Leader - Client Services

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Page last updated: Tuesday 11 October 2016

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