Early Perth photograph album digitised

Mill Point from Mt Eliza and little Lizzie, 6909B/23

Mill Point from Mt Eliza and little Lizzie, 6909B/23

A fascinating album of some of the earliest photographs of Perth has recently been digitised and made available through the State Library catalogue. The photographer is Alfred Hawes Stone who compiled the album for his daughter, Fanny, on the occasion of her marriage to George Hampton in 1868.

Alfred Hawes Stone was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England and arrived in Western Australia on the Caroline in October 1829. In 1831 he was issued a permit to practise law and this was followed by a succession of official appointments including Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages in 1841, making him Western Australia’s first Registrar. Together with his brother, Frederick, who followed Alfred out to the colony in 1831, he established a firm of solicitors originally called A H & G F Stone. Alfred eventually rose to the position of Attorney-General.

Outside his professional life he was a keen musician and gardener and, most importantly for the Library, was an avid photographer in what were the early days of photography. The album comprises 146 photographs most of which were taken during the period 1860 to 1868 and bears the following inscription:

“Fanny Annette Hampton from her affectionate father A.H. Stone with his blessing & fondest love. 30th October 1868.”

The photographs capture scenes in and around Perth and Fremantle as well as images of family and other members of Perth society at that time. You can see Perth Town Hall during construction, the Pensioners’ Barracks, Government House, the Bishop’s Palace and more. Some images are delightfully informal, such as the one featured here with Alfred’s grand-daughter, Lizzie, in the foreground.

It has been difficult to accurately date some photographs and some of the subjects are not fully identified. We welcome any further information you may be able to supply about individual photographs. This can be done by filling in the online form that appears once you click onto a photograph to enlarge it.

If you are interested in reading more about Alfred Hawes Stone, there is an excellent book on him entitled Court and Camera: the life and times of A.H. Stone: a pioneer lawyer & photographer in Perth. Copies are available to view in the Battye Library (3rd floor) or may be purchased in the State Library Bookshop.

You can browse through the album by searching our catalogue under the title Stone album of photographs of early Perth and Fremantle or under the call number 6909B:


More regional WA newspapers added to Trove

Eastern Districts Chronicle: York

Eastern Districts Chronicle: York

For those researching their WA families, their home towns or historic events in Western Australia, Trove provides a window into the past.
Hosted by the National Library of Australia, Trove is the portal to Australian online resources including books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music and archives. The most popular part of Trove is the Digitised newspapers and more section, an historical collection of searchable city and rural newspapers from around Australia.
Eight new Western Australian newspaper titles covering the period 1877 – 1954 have recently been added to Trove.
They are:
Eastern Districts Chronicle (York:  1877 – 1927)
Great Southern Herald (Katanning:  1901 – 1954)
Norseman Times (1898 – 1920)
The Pilbarra Goldfield News (Marble Bar:  1897 – 1923)
South Western Advertiser (Perth:  1910 – 1954)
The South-Western News (Busselton:  1903 – 1949)
Toodyay Herald (1912 – 1954)
Westralian Worker (Perth: 1900 – 1951)

Unlike many historical newspaper databases from overseas Trove is free to access – so follow our link and start your historical journey now!
Trove digitised newspapers and more.

The dentist who conquered the centre of the Ottoman Empire

The State Library’s conservation team was approached to authenticate a number of documents from WWI.  These maps belonged to Lieutenant Arthur Olden, a Western Australian Army Lieutenant who received the surrender of the city Damascus, the centre of the Ottoman Empire and now capital of Syria.

Damascus was recorded next to Jerusalem as the most the most coveted prize of the whole front.

On 1 October 1918, Lieutenant Olden led a hazardous but completely successful sunrise attack on the city of Damascus. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade vanguard galloped through the centre of the city at a time when it was occupied by over 15,000 troops to conquer one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Olden took the honour from Lawrence of Arabia who arrived several hours later to conquer the city himself.

A trained dentist, Arthur Charles Niquet Olden served in Western Australian 10th Light Horse Regiment in the First World War. As Lieutenant he formally accepted surrender of the city by way of a remarkable document which hailed him as ‘the first British officer to enter Damascus, in the bravest manner known of the Saxon race’ this document is now held by his grandson along with a series of maps.

The series of maps included secret plans used by the Light Horse Regiment, and were used not only in this attack, but also in other campaigns.  A number of these maps contained hand written battle notes and hand marked routes of attack, which increased the complexity of conservation, but assisted with the authentication.

The State Library’s Conservation team undertook restorative work as well as the digitisation of the maps for MagoFilms who are producing a documentary for the ABC on Great War Horses. We now hold a digitised copy of the maps http://catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au/record=b3704957~S2, further enriching our collection of items with Western Australian Social and Historical significance.

Amongst other historical newspapers of the time, the State Library holds a copy from a 1919 edition of The Western Australian which details the events leading up to and including the handover of Damascus. For access to the digital version, go to: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/27613327

Turkey, Gallipoli, 1908. slwa_b3704957_2

Turkey, Gallipoli, 1908





Reading Time is now online!

Hi everyone,
Some of you may have received Reading Time, the national journal of the Children’s Book Council of Australia in hard copy over the years.
It has had a make-over and is now online – lots of lovely stuff, including info about the judges and book reviews – check it out here: http://readingtime.com.au

(You can see a sneak peek of the CBW merchandise design by Ron Brooks, but please order from the WA Branch, as we use the funds in many creative ways here in WA. The order form will be available online on the WA Branch website, and will be sent out as a hard-copy in mid-May.)





Worth Creating. Worth Keeping.

A new era of collecting and preserving Western Australia’s history is upon us with the introduction of the Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 which came into force on 1st January 2014.

Legal Deposit is a statutory provision (under the Legal Deposit Act 2012 and the Legal Deposit Regulations 2013) that obliges publishers to provide copies of their publications to libraries in the State in which they are published.

If you live or work in Western Australia and publish content you can help the State Library of Western Australia preserve our State’s heritage by depositing copies of your published material within 30 days of publication.

A publication is any material that has been made available to the public freely by sale or request e.g. materials in print, sound, film or data produced as books, journals and maps or even images, music and vision on USBs, CDs and DVDs.

Safeguarding published works through legal deposit is not only important for commercial organisations and government agencies but also for community groups and private individuals who produce works.

The Act and regulations are the result of considerable consultation with publishers, librarians, researchers and educators, as well as the music and film industries and history and writing communities. Internet and online publications will be the subject of further consultation and regulations at a later date.

With your help now we can make sure today’s work benefits the people of tomorrow.

Find out more about Legal Deposit on our website or email  legal.deposit@slwa.wa.gov.au or call 9427 3348 for more information.


Mystery WWI Soldiers

The State Library of Western Australia has received these two photographs of WWI soldiers which we would like to add to our collection but we have no idea who they are. The portrait of the standing soldier was photographed at the Dease Studio in Barrack Street, Perth but we have no information at all about the seated soldier.

If you can help identify either of them please email the State Library at info@slwa.wa.gov.au with the subject line Mystery WWI soldiers.

Dease-studio-soldier Do-you-know

Library Awards Call For Entries

Librarians, library technicians and other library professionals working in Western Australian libraries are encouraged to enter one of several upcoming awards in the field of excellence and innovation.

Both the Library Board of Western Australia Award for Excellence and the Kay Poustie OAM Scholarship open for entry Friday 7 February 2014.

The Library Board of Western Australia Award for Excellence is intended to recognize a particular service, event, program, piece of research or partnership completed within the last two years by any person, library or organization in Western Australia.

The winner will receive $5,000 prize money.

The Kay Poustie OAM Scholarship provides a travel grant of up to $8,000 for a professional library practitioner wishing to extend their knowledge and research international library practice models that will benefit the Western Australian public library network.

Sponsored by Curtin University and the generosity of donors to the State Library of Western Australian Foundation, the Kay Poustie OAM Scholarship is delivered in partnership with Public Libraries of Western Australia.

Both awards are a valuable opportunity for library practitioners to receive recognition for their achievements in the field of library practice. The winners will be announced at an event at the State Library of Western Australia in May 2014.
Entries for the Kay Poustie OAM Scholarship and The Library Board of Western Australia Award for Excellence close on Friday 28th March.

Further information regarding the Kay Poustie OAM Scholarship, as well as the application form, can be found at www.statelibraryfoundation.org.au

Further information regarding the Library Board of Western Australia Award for Excellence, as well as the application form, can be found at http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/about_us/library_board/award_for_excellence

New Justice of the Peace Service Opens at State Library

Whenever you need a Justice of the Peace, think State Library of Western Australia.

A Justice of the Peace will be at the State Library every Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm to do things such as witness and attest documents, certify copies of original documents, witness signing of documents such as Power of Attorney or Guardianship documents and divorce papers.

The service is free and no booking is required.

The State Library is working in partnership with the Department of the Attorney General to provide volunteer Justices of the Peace to provide the service.

The Justice of the Peace Signing Centre is located on the First Floor.

Picture a Story

Picture a Story exhibition

Picture a Story is an exhibition of original illustrations from Australian picture books from the 1970s to today.

Come and explore original artworks by Australia’s top illustrators such as Shaun Tan, Alison Lester, Leigh Hobbs, Graeme Base, Frané Lessac, Ron Brooks and more.

Be taken on a journey through the imaginative world of a picture book illustrator. Along the way you’ll see colourful images of the Australian landscape, scenes of magic and fantasy as well as charming depictions of everyday life.

Get to know some of Western Australia’s top illustrators. The work of home-grown favourites Frané Lessac, James Foley, Sean Avery, Matt Ottley and many more will be on display.

Picture books and the illustrations within them are for everyone, from young children to adults. There’s always something new to be discovered within a great picture book.

Enjoy exploring old worlds and new in Picture a Story.

When: 2 November 2013 – 27 February 2014
Where: The Gallery, Ground Floor and The Place, Mezzanine Floor, State Library of Western Australia
Entry: Entry is free. Open during library hours.

More information:

  • Join fun family activities on weekdays from 10.00am to 2.00pm.
  • Picture books will be on sale in the State Library Shop.

Picture a Story Family Day

The Picture a Story Family Day

Explore the magic of picture books with your child at the Picture a Story Family Day at the State Library of Western Australia.

Join a magical storytime before taking part in the host of art activities on offer

Kids will love creating artworks to hang in our tiny gallery. They’ll also learn new drawing techniques from local illustrators and create a small book to take home. Don’t forget to visit the fabulous fairy tale photo booth to have your picture taken!

Before you leave, purchase picture books from the State Library Shop and have them signed by the illustrators themselves.

When: Saturday 2 November, 10.30am – 1.30pm.
Join a special storytime from 10.30am.
Join fun family activities activities from 11.00am to 1.30pm.
Where: The Place, Mezzanine Floor, State Library of Western Australia
Recommended for: Children aged 6+ and their families
Cost: Free
Bookings: Not required

The Picture a Story Family Day is being held as part of the Picture a Story exhibition which is taking place from 2 November 2013 to 27 February 2014. On display throughout The Gallery (Ground Floor) and The Place are original illustrations from Australian picture books from the 1970s to today.

The Picture a Story Family Day is a wonderful opportunity to explore the world of picture books illustrations with your little ones.