Finding Private Archives

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burial records, correspondence, diaries, maps and microforms, manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, station accounts, and unpublished reports.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. 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.

To examine the collections (unless on microfilm), you must register as a researcher in the Battye Library and be issued with a researcher's membership card. 

Highlights of the Private Archives Collection

The Highlights of the Private Archives Collection contains many interesting records, which provide an idea of the range of records that are available.

Last updated on: 12 December 2016