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Local Studies Collections

The State Library recognises that it cannot collect everything published in Western Australia due to the immense amount of material being published and to the sheer size of Western Australia. To this end local government areas are being encouraged to collect material published in their regions, especially the more transitory publications. The collecting of local material usually devolves on the library, although the historical society or museum may also collect material.

The State Records Office is also willing for the local council to maintain an archives of council, business, association and private records. Since the library is usually in the local council offices, both printed and archival records can be readily accessed.

In 1992 the State Library carried out a survey of local studies collections. Many libraries indicated that they either have a local studies collections, that they were going to develop a local studies collection or that there were other institutions in their town (such as historical societies and museums) which collected local material. Other libraries have developed collections since 1992. The details of some metropolitan local studies collections can be found on the FamilyHistoryWA (Western Australian Genealogical Society) website.

Libraries which may have a local studies collection are: Albany, Armadale, Australind, Badgingarra, Bencubbin, Boddington, Bremer Bay, Bridgetown, Broome, Bruce Rock, Bunbury, Calingiri, Canning, Capel, Carnamah, Collie, Corrigin, Cranbrook, Dalwallinu, Dandaragan, Derby, Dianella, Dowerin, Fremantle, Geraldton, Gingin, Gosnells, Greenmount, Guildford, Hyden, Jerramungup, Kalamunda, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Kellerberrin, Koorda, Laverton, Leederville, Lesmurdie, Mandurah, Manjimup, Marble Bar, Melville, Merredin, Midland, Mirrabooka, Morawa, Mount Magnet, Mukinbudin, Mullewa, Nannup, Narrogin, Nedlands, Nungarin, Nyabing, Onslow, Perenjori, Perth, Port Hedland, Rockingham, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, South Hedland, South Perth, Stirling, Subiaco, Three Springs, Toodyay, Walpole, Wanneroo, Waroona, Whitford, Wickepin, Wickham and Wyalkatchem.

If you are interested in family history research within a particular area, please check with the local library to see what records are held or where in the town or district records may be held. The contact addresses (street, mailing, telephone, fax and email) and opening hours of public libraries can be found by searching the Australian Libraries Gateway. You can find public libraries in Western Australia here.