Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room

State Archives and the State Library’s rare and valuable collections can be viewed in the Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room, located on Level 3.

Current membership is required to access the Reading Room and members must agree to the terms and conditions describing how material should be handled. You may be asked to present your membership card to staff at each visit.  

Most items viewed in the Reading Room are not suitable for photocopying; however, cameras are available for client use. Personal cameras can also be used without a flash. 

For information about requesting access to State Library collections or State Archives, refer to Retrieval Services. 

Terms and Conditions

The primary purpose of the Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room is for accessing and protecting archival, heritage and special collections material.

These materials are unique and cannot be replaced.

By using the Reading Room, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • Food and drink must not be brought into the Reading Room.
  • Personal belongings are to be stored in a locker. Staff will issue a key.
  • Hand washing and drying is required before handling any material. If you are not using gloves, wash hands regularly. Please avoid anti-bacterial hand gels, where possible.
  • Please wear gloves when issued with photographs, or as requested by staff.
  • Please do not use rubber finger stalls and do not lick your fingers to turn the pages or flick through the pages.
  • Lead pencils (preferably 2B, 3B or 4B) are permitted. No pens, markers, highlighters or similar are to be used. Staff can supply a suitable pencil if required.
  • Tracings or rubbings are not permitted.
  • Do not use paper clips, post-it-notes, other sticky markers or labels.
  • Loose papers and pages in files and folders must be left in the order you found them. Do not remove pages or rearrange the records.
  • Use book pillows to support bound material at all times.
  • The digital camera in the Reading Room or a personal camera/smart phone may be used to copy pages. During copying/photographing the physical integrity of the record is the primary concern.
  • Copying of material must be done in accordance with the provisions of the Australian Copyright Act (1968).
  • No flash photography, photocopying, scanning (including with a portable or pen scanner), or pin boards are permitted. You may use a tripod with staff supervision.
  • High resolution digital copying may be available. Please enquire with staff.
  • Archival records and heritage material must not leave the Reading Room.
  • Inform a staff member when you have finished with material.
  • Clients aged under 18 must have parental or guardian approval. A guardian can be a school teacher or legal guardian. Please note that the State Library will not release client contact information to any external party.
A large proportion of the collections in the State Library are held in storage areas.
Stationery and Books Department of Foy  Gibson Perth c1905

The Reading Room was named in honour of Leah Jane Cohen and her generous bequest to the Library Board.

A love of art and music inspired Leah to leave a significant bequest to the arts in Western Australia. The State Library of Western Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and the School of Music at the University of Western Australia shared equally in her bequest.

Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room