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Government Publications

Blue Book/Public Service List of Western Australia

The Blue Book (Q351.209941 COL) [1837 - 1905] began in 1834 and includes a list of the civil establishment of the colony as well as various statistics. The early Blue Books (1834-1836) can be found in Colonial Office microfilm in the State Library's Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) microfilm collection (reel 1123) and on the National Library's AJCP portal (CO 22, piece (file) 10 - 12, reel 1123). The Battye Library also holds separate microfilm copies for 1837-1869 and microfiche copies for 1837-1905 (produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics). Information on members of the civil establishment can include name, salary, date of first appointment to the Public Service and date of appointment to present position. Date of birth for public servants can be found in the later public service list records: Public service list (Q351.209941 WES) [1909 - 1970 incomplete] & Public service list (Q351.209941 WES) [1971 - 1990 incomplete] .

In 1896 the Statistical Register of Western Australia (319.41 WES) began. This led to a division between the two functions of the Blue Books (1871 - 1906) with all statistics being published in the Statistical Register and the civil establishment list being published in the Public Service Lists. These began in 1909, and as the Blue Books ceased in 1905, it appears as if no Public Service Lists were produced for the years 1906-1908. The Public Service Lists were produced annually up to 1987. For 1988-1989 a computer printout was produced, before a printed version reappeared in 1990. Since 1991 computer printouts only have been produced (see Public Servants in Government Archival Records section). No subsequent Public Service Lists have been published.

Education Circular/Schools and Staffing

Early lists of schoolteachers were published in Education Circular (370 EDU), commencing in 1899 and continuing to 1969. The name of the teacher, classification, school taught at, position and salary are noted, as are new appointments and transfers. This function of the Education Circular was taken over in 1970 by Schools and Staffing (Q371 WES), which continued until 1996. The name of the teacher, school taught at, qualifications and position held are noted. The Western Australian Teachers' Journal (371.1 WES) can also provide names of teachers and union office bearers. Battye Library also holds many school magazines which are usually produced by the students. These often give the names of teachers and have class lists and photographs.

Electoral Rolls of Western Australia

The Battye Library's holdings of published State rolls starts from 1904 and thereafter at roughly three yearly intervals to coincide with elections. Supplementary lists were also produced and rolls could be produced for special circumstances such as referenda. The Electoral Rolls (324.24 WES) are arranged alphabetically within each electoral district or province up to 1989. Prior to 1904 the only rolls available are a few manuscript and printed rolls for various districts held by the State Records Office (see Electoral Rolls in Government Archival Records section).

Until 1962 Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Electoral Rolls were divided. Legislative Assembly rolls noted the person's name, address, occupation and sex. Those eligible to vote in the Legislative Council needed a land or professional qualification. Legislative Council rolls noted the person's name, address, occupation, sex and qualification, such as property owned, so often location or lease numbers are provided.

From 1962 Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Electoral Rolls were combined under the electoral district as the special qualification for voting in the Council was abolished. The Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council rolls are on microfiche, Assembly from 1904 and Council 1908-1962. Both rolls are filmed in two sequences, Assembly all districts for a particular year and all years for a particular district and Council all provinces for a particular year and all years for a particular province.

From 1992 the printed Electoral Rolls were discontinued. They were then produced on microfiche every three months in one alphabetical sequence for the entire state, i.e. they are not divided into electoral districts. In 2005 the production of Electoral Rolls on microfiche was discontinued and they were again published in book form, divided into electoral districts.

Some Commonwealth Electoral Rolls for Western Australia (324.64 COM) are held, including a microfiche set for 1901-1989 and 2001 onwards, and hardcopy sets for 1913, 1919, and 1955 onwards (incomplete). From 1989 State and Commonwealth Electoral Rolls were combined.

The Battye Library also holds a selection of municipal electoral rolls (324.64) for various shires, towns and city authorities. These generally list ratepayers eligible to vote in municipal elections. Holdings are not comprehensive and vary from municipality to municipality. To locate them, simply enter Election Districts – Western Australia as a subject heading in the online catalogue. In the results page they can be identified under the subject heading Election Districts – Western Australia – [Municipality Name] – Periodicals.

Government Gazette of Western Australia

The Western Australian Government Gazette (350.5941 WES) commenced in 1836 and continues to the present day (early government notices appeared in the Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal and for the period 1833-1835 the newspaper is the only source available). They contain a wealth of information on Western Australians and their dealings with government and with government policy and procedure. There is a Consolidated Index for the years 1836-1890 which can be used to find information such as: reports of Guardians of Aborigines, bankruptcies and insolvencies, boat licences, destitute people and paupers at Charitable Institutions, convicts, deceased estates, local defense volunteers, members of district roads boards, immigrants, members of the Supreme Court, justices of the peace, land surveyors, land titles, Legislative Council members, liquor licences, public notaries, commissioners for oaths and affidavits, partnerships, public service appointments, sheriffs, names of tenderers, members of town trusts and municipalities etc. This list is not exhaustive.

From 1891 indexes are produced annually. Similar types of information can be found as already outlined above. The Western Australian Government Gazettes are also useful for finding people who had to be registered under a certain act and then reported in the gazette, e.g. doctors, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists.

An index to Gazettes 1900-1910 is been produced by Martin Pinnell of the Western Australian Genealogical Society. Currently indexing of Gazettes for the years 1905-1908 has been done. The index is available on CD-ROM in the Battye Library and indexes all names found in the gazettes in the period. The entry for each name will provide details of the source document and remarks such as “goldmine leaseholder, Coolgardie.” You can also keyword search the remarks field for places, occupations, industries etc. Also indexed are burials in Kalgoorlie Cemetery and in the North-east Coolgardie District 1900-1910, baptisms at Fremantle Presbyterian Church and the Uniting Church 1900-1910 and inquests 1900-1903.

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

Parliamentary Debates, also known as Hansard (328.9414 WES) commenced in 1876. A volume covering the period 1870-1875 was compiled from reports appearing in The West Australian of the time. As well as providing full text of the speeches of the various members of both houses of parliament, Hansard also includes lists of members in both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. The names of Ministers and their portfolios and office bearers are also given.

Parliamentary Handbook of Western Australia

The Western Australian Parliamentary Handbook (328.941 WES) commenced in 1922 and provides political and official biographies of elected members of both houses of parliament from 1870 to date. They also list Governors and Administrators, present and previous ministries (since 1890), Agents General (1892 to date), Advocates and Attorneys General (1830-1890), Colonial Secretaries (1828-1890) and Surveyors General (1832-1890). They are not published each year.

Police Gazette of Western Australia

The Police Gazette (Q360 POL) commenced in 1876 and is still being published. Each gazette (bound yearly) is indexed and they contain valuable information on police, criminals, various licensees, missing persons etc. They are restricted for the last 50 years and permission to view must be obtained from the Police Department. The Police Gazettes for 1876-1900 have been digitised and can be searched by either using the indexes or through optical character recognition.

Information can be located through the indexes under headings such as: apprehensions (name of arresting constable, charge and sentence given); appointments, dismissals, discharges, promotions, reductions, resignations, transfers etc. (of police); certificates of freedom, tickets of leave and conditional release holders (of convicts); descriptions of prisoners (name, condition, build, age, height, hair and eye colour, visage, complexion, trade, nationality and distinguishing marks); deserters from military service; escaped prisoners; expirees leaving the colony; inquests (where held, date, before whom, name and date of death of person, verdict - these can include those killed in mining accidents); licences (publicans, gallon, eating, boarding and lodging houses, railway refreshment rooms, wine and beer, colonial wine, spirit merchants, club, wayside house, packet and billiard table - name of licensee, name of hotel, and town or district given); missing friends; prisoners discharged; people tried at Quarter Sessions (name, offence, district, verdict, how disposed of); special inquiries; stealing in dwellings; and warrants issued.

These headings were in use in the early Gazettes and over the years different headings are used. Information may change, but in general interesting items about police and criminals can be uncovered in the Police Gazettes. In later years indexes consist of an alphabetical list of names with an identifying letter to denote what the entry is about eg a for apprehension, i for inquest, l for license. The Police News (360 POL), which began in 1916, is also a valuable source of information on policemen.

Votes and Proceedings of Parliament

Annual reports of government agencies can contain information about the people working for that agency. Many of these reports can be found in the Votes and Proceedings of Parliament (Q328.9414 WES), 1870 to date (1870-1900 on microfilm) and also in the online catalogue. Reports of Royal Commissions and Committees of Inquiry can also be found in the Votes and Proceedings of Parliament. The Public Accounts presented to Parliament were published in Votes and Proceedings of Parliament from 1906-1960. They contain lists of people receiving pensions from the Government and the last entry for each person records the date of death. In 2010 the Minutes of the proceedings of the Legislative Council of Western Australia was published. This covers the period from the first meeting of the Executive Council on 7 February 1832 up to 1 June 1870.