Researcher-in-residence opportunities at the State Library of Western Australia

Applications now closed.


The State Library is offering two $20 000 researcher-in-residence opportunities, funded by the Friends of Battye through the Maud Sholl Bequest, to research the newly digitised audio and audio-visual (AV) collections of the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History.

Applications are open for West Australian residents who are historians, curators or scholars with demonstrated knowledge and experience in the fields of West Australian history or heritage.

The State Library’s audio and audio-visual (AV) collections span more than 100 years and include amateur recordings, government and private sector productions, films, music, interviews, and other audio-visual content that depict people, places, and events unique to Western Australia.

Large-scale digitisation of analogue collections is currently underway including audio, video, and film formats (records, cassettes, magnetic tapes, film and sound reels). These materials can no longer be played on devices due to changing technologies and are rapidly deteriorating. Digitisation will preserve them for the future and enable access.

The researcher-in-residence will investigate and examine these West Australian audio and audio-visual collections to advance online discovery and curation. The State Library’s Collection Interpretation Strategy and thematic framework (see below PDF) will guide the public outputs and curation of content.

Public outputs will include: 
•    Enhanced online discovery and curation of audio and audio-visual collections for the State Library’s website;
•    Future exhibition and interpretation proposals for the audio and audio-visual collections;
•    Other public program opportunities, to be determined in consultation with the State Library.

The researcher-in-residence will be required to submit a final report outlining the research findings. It is expected the research will result in new understanding of the significance of State Library collections and that the report will detail any significance assessments made possible through the research investigations.

Information for Applicants

The researcher-in-residence must demonstrate experience in West Australian history or heritage and curation or interpretation. A background in film studies or music history is desirable.

The two successful recipients will each receive:
•    $20,000, paid in instalments upon the completion of agreed milestones by 30 November 2024.
•    Support from the Battye Historian and other State Library staff.
•    Access to the State Library collections including recently digitised audio and audio-visual collections.
•    An induction tour and introduction to staff and  State Library facilities.
•    Use of State Library IT equipment, as necessary for the duration of the residency.
•    Use of State Library office space, venues and other equipment as necessary during the residency at the discretion of the State Library. 

The two successful recipients will commence the residency by June 2024 and complete the residency by 30 November 2024. 

They will each be required to:
•    Produce a final report, outlining their experience, detailing the research findings and new knowledge about the significance of State Library audio and audio-visual collections generated through the residency research. 
•    Contribute to significance assessment and description of the collections as appropriate.
•    Contribute to curation and interpretation of the collections online through the State Library website.
•    Develop future exhibition and interpretation proposals for the collections.
•    Contribute to other public program opportunities, to be determined in consultation with the State Library.

Selection Process

All applications will be assessed by a panel. The panel may interview short-listed applicants. The successful recipients will be announced in June 2024.

All applicants will be informed of the Panel’s decision, which is regarded as final.

Applicants must demonstrate:

  1. Experience in researching or curating West Australian history.
  2. Interpretive experience in an online and / or exhibition context.
  3. A proven ability to meet the requirements of the researcher-in-residence as outlined above.
  4. A background in film studies or music history (desirable)

The State Library has the right to promote the residency outcomes and it is a condition of the funding that the successful recipients will be available for publicity purposes to promote the outcomes of the residency. 


Applications are open to Western Australian residents who are historians, curators or scholars, including university based, with demonstrated knowledge and experience in the fields of West Australian history or heritage.

Researchers based outside of Western Australia or current employees of the State Library of Western Australia are not eligible to apply. 

How to Apply

Applications open Friday 26 April 2024 and close Friday 31 May 2024.

Applications are to be made online via Submittable. You will need to create a free Submittable account to apply. 

Apply now

Application materials

A letter of no more than two pages addressing the criteria outlined under Selection Process and a curriculum vitae (CV) highlighting relevant experience must be uploaded as separate documents.

All applicants will receive an automated email confirming receipt of their application. It is recommended that you keep a copy of your application for your records.


For enquiries about the Researcher-in-residence opportunities contact:

John Hughes
Senior Subject Specialist
State Library of Western Australia
Phone: 08 9427 3476

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