Research using State Archives

State archives are records of government business which have permanent evidential, historical and cultural value to government and the community.​

State archives collection

The State archives collection consists of over one million Colonial, State and Local government records from 1829 through to current times. These are records that document the decisions and actions of government and its interaction with West Australians. The State archives collection is managed by the State Records Office.

Accessing the State archives collection

The State Records Office operates an information service about the State archives collection. The collection is searchable online through Culture WA and our catalogue:

Button for Search the State archives collection

Use the catalogue to:

  • Identify State archives to help with your research;
  • View and download historic maps, plans and other records;
  • Pre-order archives to view in the 3rd floor reading room of the State Library / State Archives or to place digitisation requests (digitisation is a fee-based service).

Further information about accessing the State archives collection.

Research Support Service

If you need specialist advice and guidance with using State archives, you can book an appointment to meet with an archivist online or on the 3rd floor of the State Library / State Archives:

Make an appointment with the Research Support Service

When making an appointment, simply select a date and time and tell us as much as you can about what help you need. Booking ahead and telling us what you need helps us help you. You will be sent email notification, which contains a link to help you manage/change your booking if needed.

Digitisation Service

The State Records Office provides a digitisation service for public clients who would like copies of items held in the State archives collection.

RetroMaps

View Perth's changed landscape through:

Button for Search the RetroMaps

RetroMaps allows you to access historical survey plans using a modern mapping interface. The plans cover the inner metropolitan areas of Perth during the early to mid 20th Century.

Restricted Access Archives

Further information about restricted access archives and what records are restricted.

State Archives outside the collection

Many State archives are also retained by the government organisations that created them or for which they have become custodians over time. If you are unable to find the archives you are looking for through our catalogue, please contact the State Records Office via sro@sro.wa.gov.au.

Page reviewed 22 January 2021