Images of Western Australian History

A fantastic new website created by a group of dedicated local history librarians around W.A. has popped up recently…

Images of Western Australian History –

Images of Western Australian History

It shares links to all of the different photograph collections that have been shared online by different local councils around Western Australia from their local history collections.

You can browse through historic images from Armadale, Cambridge, Joondalup, Kalamunda and more! New collections are being added every week as more collections come on board.

They also have a dedicated Facebook page for highlighting photographs from these collections. Click below to visit the Facebook page and ‘like’ it to see the images shared in your news feed…

Images of Western Australian History on Facebook –

Images of Western Australian History on Facebook

And if you have any photographs of a local area in your own personal collection, share them with us! You can either share them on the Facebook page and/or contact the local council featured and discuss including it in their collection.


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 We can scan your photographs and return them to you.

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:




Preservation of Family Photographs with Paul Malone

We’re excited to announce that Paul Malone, Director of Preservation Services, will be joining us next month for a special talk on how to take care of your very precious family photographs!

Paul has extensive experience in the conservation of heritage materials, and was the Senior Conservator and Manager of the State Library of W.A.’s preservation branch before starting up his own practice.


In this session, Paul will be going over the different photographic image types, the causes of deterioration of photographs, appropriate storage to help offset deterioration, copying methods for preservation, display requirements for the original images and he will also focus on digital copying and the use and storage of negatives.

Wednesday 13 August
2pm – 4 pm
South Perth Library, Function Room

Bookings essential (this is a free event)
Call 9474-0800 or book online

Is it finally time to deal with this mess? (hint, hint)


Noonans Bakery and Weaver & Lock

Many remember Noonans Bakery and the Weaver & Lock factory fondly from the days they were based on Arlington Avenue and Mill Point Road in South Perth.

A South Perth resident visited us this morning and shared 3 photographs that were captured by him in early 1988.

Street view of Noonans Bakery, April 1988. COSP_PH_2255.

Street view of Weaver & Lock factory, April 1988. COSP_PH_2256/1.

Street view of Weaver & Lock factory, April 1988. COSP_PH_2256/1.

Street view of Weaver & Lock factory, April 1988. COSP_PH_2256/2.

Street view of Weaver & Lock factory, April 1988. COSP_PH_2256/2.


Would you like to share your photos with us? Get in touch with the Local History Librarian at the South Perth Library… we would love to take a look at the memories you have captured in South Perth over the years!

Want to see more historic images from around our City? Visit Picture South Perth for many many more…


Photography for History Workshop


To celebrate the recent launch of Picture South Perth, the libraries have organised a specialized photography workshop demonstrating how to take photographs for their historical content and value.

Join us on the 17th of June with Michael Pelusey who has over 25 years of experience in the world of photography and adventure travel as he demonstrates how to “capture the essence” of a place, time or event.

The session will be held from 2 pm – 4 pm in the South Perth Library Function Room, but come dressed for a practical session outdoors as Michael will lead the group outside for a practical demonstration. Bring along a camera, or smartphone or tablet, and come develop your skills of taking photographs that will be quality additions to any historical record.

Photography for History Workshop
Tuesday 17 June 2014
2 pm – 4 pm
South Perth Library Function Room

– dress for a practical session outdoors
– bring a camera (or smart phone or tablet)

Bookings essential
Book online:
Call the library: 9474-0800

Lost (South) Perth – Fiesta 2014

The City of South Perth’s Fiesta 2014 program has been released and it’s more colourful and exciting than ever!

CoSP Fiesta 2014

Lost Perth creator, Warren Duffy, will be taking us on a journey through the last 100 years of South Perth with some exciting stories and photographs. Join us at the Perth Zoo on Wednesday 19 March for a lot of “ooooh yeaaaah”s and “aaaaaw”s over days gone by.

The night will feature images from Duffy’s collection and recently released book Lost Perth, as well as a selection of never before seen images from the City of South Perth’s Local History Collection.

When: 6.45pm, Wednesday 19 March 2014
Where: Perth Zoo (Lecture Theatre), Labouchere Rd, South Perth
Cost: $15 plus booking fee.

Bookings essential: Click here to register!

COSP_PH_2035/2 - Como Beach 1944

COSP_PH_2035/2 – Human pyramid at Como Beach, 1944.

PS. Do you recognize anyone in this picture?

The Cygnet Theatre

At the beginning of this year the iconic Cygnet Theatre in Como was under threat of closure. Due to changing technologies in the film industry, the 75 year old theatre had to upgrade it’s film projectors or close down.

Southern Gazette, 15 January 2013. Page 5.

Residents in the area spoke up and expressed their love for the theatre they visited in their younger days. Local resident and former Councillor Peter Best was particularly vocal and asked residents to help Save the Cygnet Cinema.

Southern Gazette, 29 January 2013 and 12 February 2013.

Within a few months, action was taken and the Stiles family pledged to do whatever it takes to keep the cinema’s doors open (Colin Stiles’ father, James, built the cinema in 1938).

Southern Gazette, 5 March 2013. Page 7.

Today, the Heritage Council announced the 24 heritage projects in WA to receive funding under the 2013-14 Heritage Grant Program. Amongst those grant recipients is the Cygnet Theatre.

Under the competitive Heritage Grant Program, funding of a total of $1.26 million is being contributed to private owners of State Registered locations to undertake urgent conservation works. Each grant allows for up to $100,000 and owners are required to match funds to the project. Click here to view details for all the successful projects in this round of funding.

CygnetTheatre-CommunityHeritageGrant2013-14We’re happy to hear that the Cinema will continue to live, in Como and in our hearts!

The Cygnet Cinema, c.1970.

The Cygnet Cinema, c.1970.

Wesley College Cookbook

Earlier this year, Wesley College released a new cookbook full of delicious Wesley family recipes.

Wesley College Cookbook

Whether you’re planning your Christmas meal or dessert, or even just nibbles, there is no shortage of ideas in this beautifully presented book. It’s also filled with images of food, and historic images of Wesley College for the nostalgic.

Copies of the book are available for loan at the South Perth & Manning Libraries so get in quick if you like to plan ahead.

Shelf location:
Adult Non-fiction
641.5 WES
Celebrate… a collection of Wesley family recipes

Group Photo – seeking information

We came across this photograph in South Perth’s local history collection and have no additional information for it.

We can’t help but wonder… Who is this group? Where are they exactly? When was the photograph taken?

If you have any ideas, leave a comment below or email us!

Acc. 2004-4

Click on the image to see a higher quality version.