Picture South Perth has doubled in size

Since its launch in April 2014, library staff have been busy processing more images from the Local History Collection to be shared on Picture South Perth.

Images dating from the mid-1950s up until the 2000s have now been released to the online collection making it double in size to a total of 1600 images!

The new images include some exciting photographs of families, houses, businesses and Council events over the years. Demolition and construction are also recurring themes, showing how the City has evolved over recent decades.


So have a look and see if you can find your house, or your business, or even yourself pictured on Picture South Perth!

And if not, we invite you to contribute pictures from your personal collections by getting in touch with the Local History Librarian at South Perth Library on 9474-0800 or at localhistory@southperth.wa.gov.au. We can scan your photographs and return them to you.

New Release – Sir James Mitchell (Biography)

Local author Bruce Devenish recently published the first definitive biography of one of the State’s most notable historic figures.

Sir James Mitchell : Premier & Governor of Western Australia will soon be available for loan at both the South Perth and Manning Libraries.

Sir James Mitchell Premier & Governor of Western Australia by Bruce Devenish


Sir James Mitchell Park

An iconic park located on the South Perth foreshore, Sir James Mitchell Park was developed in the 1950s after the closure of the Chinese Market Gardens.

Towards the eastern end of the foreshore, the main early activities were recreational (horse racing), dairying, and pig farming.

Since then, the park has become a popular recreational spot south of the river, with playground equipment, skate parks, cycle and walking paths, barbecue areas and a very popular picnic spot.

Sir James Mitchell Park, 1994.

Sir James Mitchell Park, 1994.

Sir James Mitchell

The park was named after Sir James Mitchell (1866-1951) who served as the 13th Premier of Western Australia, serving on two occasions, the Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia for 15 years and 22nd Governor of Western Australia.


If interested in purchasing a copy of the biography, see this form for details on how to order.

After the Event: Caring for your family photographs

We were joined by Paul Malone, Director of Preservation Services, this week, who shared his extensive knowledge of photograph preservation in a 2-hour workshop at the South Perth Library.


After going through different types of photographs that were developed over the last two centuries (see here for an overview), we learned that the first step is to have an understanding of why photographs deteriorate, and that the biggest culprits are light and atmospheric conditions.

Some of Paul’s tips for storage of those precious family photo prints were to avoid anything with acidity (as it will cause deterioration). Look for acid-free materials. He also recommended we avoid displaying photographs near UV light sources which will accelerate deterioration. Check the light bulbs in your home, particularly the ones located near your framed photographs.

Avoid UV light.

Avoid UV light.

Good materials for storage of your prints include polypropylene, polystyrene, and even polyester. Paul recommended looking for these when purchasing negative and print sleeves and photo albums. Tyvec was recommended for storing glass negatives.

Polypropylene albums


The Royal Western Australian Historical Society, located in Nedlands, are a good source of archival storage materials in Perth. Visit their website here for more information:




Family History Month

August is dedicated to all things family history!

Whether you’ve just started researching your family tree, or you’ve been at it for years…

Pop into the South Perth or Manning Libraries and check out our family history displays for some very interesting books to help guide your family history research.

If you’re a library member, you will also have free access to Ancestry Library Edition and Find My Past where you can search through billions of family history records.

If you’re keen on searching from home, have a look at the useful links shared here:

And don’t forget to check out some other events happening during Family History Month around the state….

As always, happy researching!