Researching heritage places

Researching heritage places unlocks their history, reveals their significance and assists in conserving these places for future generations.
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Why research heritage places?

Researching heritage places helps us to better understand and appreciate our historic heritage. It also helps us to understand the role we play in a place's ongoing story, and can help in the nomination, assessment and potential registration and ongoing conservation of a place in the State’s Register of Heritage Places.

Where to start

Start by asking who, what, why, when and how. For example: Who built this place? What was it used for? What stories are there about it? Why did it change into what it is now? When was it built? How significant is it to the local community?

Where to find records

Some places you can search for records are:

The Heritage Council also has a library which contains information predominantly about Western Australian places, including conservation plans, heritage assessments, unpublished reports and local government heritage inventories.

The collection exists for reference purposes, and is open to the public by appointment only. As documents may not be taken away on loan, a photocopying service is available.

Our library is located at 140 William, in Gordon Stephenson House. Please contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, or email to arrange an appointment with our Librarian.

The State Library of Western Australia (the JS Battye Library) collects and preserves material relating to Western Australia and provides a reference service based on that material. The collection consists of books, serials, newspapers, maps, government publications, ephemera, photographs, manuscripts, oral history interviews, films and videos.

The State Records Office WA holds the State’s archives, or those records which have been generated by the State Government. The collection includes maps, plans, documents and other various government records.

Useful publications

  • Researching Heritage Places
  • State Register of Heritage Places

View these publications