Inside Outside Your Western Australia, your State Library

If you visit the State Library of Western Australia over the next few months, you will see a huge decal on the front of the building. It’s a virtual exhibition called Inside Outside. The images you see on the building are reflected on this page. The idea behind Inside Outside is to highlight the huge range of great Western Australian items and stories you will find in your State Library. Now you are here, dig a bit deeper into our collection.

An ode to Rockingham

A photograph of the Rockingham Caravan Park in 1952. Another great image from our small town and regional city stories collection.


Raymond Stanley Stewart documented the day-to-day life of a POW in the Second World War on a toilet paper diary he hid in a Red Cross gift box. Because the diaries are so delicate, they were digitised in 2016 and can only be read online.

Our collection through film

The Library has partnered with Screenwest to deliver a series of short movies that transform stories from our collection through film and virtual reality.

Covid stories

The State Library aims to capture the great and small events that make Western Australian history. This image is of customers and staff wearing masks at Wing Hong Butchers in William Street, Perth. 

ANZAC stories

The Library has a broad collection of ANZAC based materials. This is a cigarette card – ‘The bravest of the brave’ - an example of trading cards issued by tobacco manufacturers to stiffen cigarette packaging and to advertise brands.

Family history

If you are interested in family history, you have come to the right place. We have lots of free resources to help you track down your family history.

Photographic collections

The Library collection includes hundreds of thousands of photographs. This image by Louise Whelan is of Sudanese youth walking into the hall for a music and dance event at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre in Mirrabooka.


Storylines is an Indigenous online archive managed and hosted by the State Library of Western Australia. The Storylines archive provides for the digital return of photos and other materials directly to Aboriginal families, communities, and people.


The State Library aims to collect a copy of every new map and chart produced in Western Australia. There are over 44,000 sheets in our collection. The Polus Antarcticus maps shown here were first published in 1637 and were drawn by cartographer Hondius Hendrik.

Faces of Western Australia

Take a moment to enjoy the beautiful portraits of members of WA’s Chinese community by WA Photographer and Creative Director Brett Canet-Gibson. This image is a portrait of Peter Cheng, taken December 2016.

Bon Scott letters

Another example of our ephemera collection. This image is of a letter written by Bon Scott to his friend Mary Walton, while he was on tour in the USA.

Surf's Up

Western Australia has been a surfing mecca for decades. This shot, taken by John Budge takes us back to 1957. For more great surfing images enter ‘surf’ into the search function on the State Library of Western Australia Library Facebook page.


The State Library holds a large collection of ephemera, which are the transient documents of everyday life such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, tickets and posters. This poster is one of a large collection of Connections Night Club materials donated to the Library in 2019. 

Fine art

The Library is about much more than books, we also have an important art collection. This painting is of Augusta in the 1930s by Thomas Turner.

Photographic collections

The Library collection includes hundreds of thousands of photographs. This image is one of a collection of photographs documenting the Black Lives Matter rally held on July 4, 2020.

Rock 'n roll

Western Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s was a hotbed of musical talent. The Library has a great collection of rock and roll photographs from this era, many taken by local photographer Rob Baxter. This image shows The Victims at their final show at Hernando’s Hideaway.

The Beach

When people think of Western Australia they often think of the beach. This photograph is of Cottesloe Beach taken circa 1972. 

Stuck on you

The Library collects lots of unexpected things. We even collect product labels.

This page last updated on 24 November 2022