Private archives are the non-current records of private individuals, families, churches, trade unions, companies, associations and any other non-government organisations. The State Library aims to collect and preserve these original non-government records which reflect the full range of human endeavour in the communities of Western Australia.

The Private Archives Collection includes architectural plans, baptismal, marriage and burial records, correspondence, diaries, maps and microforms, manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, station accounts, and unpublished reports.

The subjects of these collections are as varied as the individuals, businesses, professional community and voluntary organisations which contribute to the life and subsequent history of Western Australia. There are over 3,100 shelf metres of records in the collection. Most of the collections held have been donated and many items are microfilmed or photocopied in order to preserve the original.

Access to the collection

To access the records held in the Private Archives Collection, consult the Manuscript Notes (MNs), either on-line or in hard copy located in the Battye Library. Manuscript notes are finding aids which, for each collection, provide historical background, a detailed listing of items in the collection, and details of any restrictions on the use of material. Here is an example of a manuscript note (MN). Other items, often single items, have been accessioned, but do not have a manuscript note relating to them. Access to these items is also via the Catalogue.


Frances Louisa Bussells diary 1841 on microfiche
The State Library holds many manuscript collections produced by a variety of individuals or families, clubs or associations, businesses or companies, churches, trade unions and various other non-government organisations.
St Martins Anglican Church Manjimup Western Australia 1928
West Australian Anglican Church archives (MN 614) deposited in the Battye Library have been arranged here according to their locality.
304460PD Canon Collicks home being moved Boulder 1905
Uniting Church archives deposited in the Battye Library have been arranged here according to their locality and organisations, groups or individuals.
Swan River Guildford from the river bank
Papers relating to the Freemasons Lodges have been donated to the J S Battye Library over a wide period of time. Some background information on the origins of the papers can be found in collection notes for the individual lodges. Select a list by clicking on the appropriate listing.
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