Extra! Extra! Adultery, murder, scandal and gossip – more than thirty years of the Truth newspaper

Adultery, murder, scandal and gossip – this was the sort of fare dished up by the Truth newspaper. The Perth edition of the Truth ran from 1903 to 1936, titillating Western Australian audiences for more than thirty years. It also covered less salacious topics such as politics, sport and society news.

Now you can delve into this publication yourself because the Truth newspaper has been made available online.

Photographic Negative - Glass

Linotype in operation at the Truth newspaper, 1930, State Library of Western Australia, 233089PD

The State Library of Western Australia collects, preserves and makes accessible our state’s documentary heritage and this, of course, includes newspapers. We aim to collect every newspaper published in Western Australia and currently hold close to 1,000 different newspaper titles. Some of these are selected to feed into Trove in the Digitised newspapers and more section.

Audacious_adventuress_-_Truth_29_Feb_1908 page 8

Audacious adventuress masquerades as a man – an article which appeared in the Truth newspaper on 29th February 1908, page 8


Josie Bungalow, brothel in Roe Street, that allegedly lures married men to folly and infidelity, State Library of Western Australia, 048405PD

The Truth is one of our recently added titles, chosen because of its interest as a scandal rag. If you haven’t searched Trove before you are in for a treat! If you have searched before, remember that new titles are being added all the time so it is well worth revisiting.


Alleged stabbing in Bridgetown divorce. Kidnapped from racecourse – an article which appeared in the Truth newspaper on 27th July 1930, page 16

The State Library also holds the Truth newspaper collection of over 3,000 photographs, some of which you can see here. They include images of weddings; politicians; sportsmen such as jockeys and boxers; police constables and detectives; weapons and scenes of crime and much more.


Jockey Jack Corry in hospital following an operation on a cist ‘in a place which makes the saddle no cushion’, State Library of Western Australia, 049257PD


Detectives Lewis and McLernon who effected the arrest of the Pardelup escapee, Playford, State Library of Western Australia, 049172PD


The wedding of Kevin Sullivan and Kathleen Walsh, 14 January 1931, State Library of Western Australia, 048924PD

New exhibition: Majority Rules

At the opening ceremony of Majority Rules.

Visit our new exhibition in The Gallery on the Ground Floor of the State Library of Western Australia. 

How do you vote?

Discover how political parties and candidates persuade you to support them in the polls by exploring fascinating items from our collections: how-to-vote cards from 1904 to the present, newspapers covering Australian elections and much more.

A how-to-vote card from 1915

A how-to-vote card from 1915

Reflect on milestones in Australian election history, and discover some of the issues that have affected voting from the past to the present. Witness how campaigning has changed over time and decide what influences YOU at election time.

1996 X files inspired Labor Party campaign material

1996 X files inspired Labor Party campaign material

When: 8 July – 21 October 2013
Where: The Gallery, Ground Floor
Entry is FREE. Open during State Library hours.

Professor David Black and Professor Brian De Garis at the opening ceremony of Majority Rules.

Professor David Black and Professor Brian De Garis at the opening ceremony of Majority Rules.

British Newspaper Archive now at the State Library

Illustrated Police News, May 21 1887

The Illustrated Police News is just one of the many newspapers available in this wonderful archive [Illustrated Police News, May 21 1887]














The latest addition to the Library’s family history e-resources is the British Newspaper Archive, which gives you access to millions of pages of digitised historical newspapers held at the British Library. There are newspaper titles from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and you will find news articles, family notices, obituaries, letters, advertisements and illustrations.
Please note that you need to be within the State Library building to access the British Newspaper Archive and you will also need to register i.e. create your own login and password. Once you have done this you will be able to search, view articles, save (bookmark) articles of interest into different folders and add tags or comments. You will also be able to correct the optical character recognition (OCR) text, making articles easier for other people to find, in a similar way to the National Library of Australia’s Trove website.

Sunday Times newspaper (UK) on trial

Front page, Sunday Times, July 4 1915

The State Library currently has the Sunday Times Historical Archive, 1822 – 2006 (UK) available as a trial e-resource. To access it you need to be within the State Library building.

This newspaper archive, covering more than 180 years, complements our other British newspaper e-resources such as the Times Digital Archive and the Illustrated London News. See the full list of Family History e-resources here.
This is a very useful addition to our collection for both social and family history. Feel free to try it out during the trial and please give us your feedback.

Family history talks on Thursday 9 February

We will be offering two free family history talks at the State Library on Thursday 9 February as part of our Learning program.

Black and White and Read All Over looks at some of the wonderful digitised historic newspapers available through Trove and the Library’s e-resources. Many of these are also available for you to use from home as members of the State Library.

Fantastic Websites is exactly that – a look at some of our favourite family history websites from around the world. Many of them will be familiar to you but you may discover some gems!

For bookings please phone 9427 3111 and visit our Family History Learning page for further details of these and other courses.

Coolgardie as Matrimonial Field (1896!)

In 1896, this article taken from the local rag “Pioneer” encouraged “spinsters” to come to Coolgardie and seek husbands, whilst also warning that they may end up playing second fiddle to their husbands’ love of gold, gambling and drinking with their mates at the pub!

The West Australian, 19 February 1896.

You can view the article in it’s original form here on Trove.

COOLGARDIE AS A MATRIMONIAL FIELD – Coolgardie, according to the local Pioneer is as promising a matrimonial field as a goldfield. “Most of us” (writes the Pioneer) “are tired of single wretchedness, and we are feeling a distaste for dwellings where the feminine element is ever absent. In all trepidation we might point out to the girls in the East that Coolgardie is a fine field for matrimony. Here we have thousands of marriageable men, good-looking, high-spirited men, too – the making of honest husbands who could be lassoed into captivity with ease, and who, we are sure, would never regret the pleasant bondage.

We advise the fair spinsters of the East to come over, ensuring them of a hearty welcome in this land of gold and love. Husbands and gold rings are to be picked up here easily, when feminine grace and pretty fripperies stoop to conquer. They may have to put up with many little inconveniences, such as we have pointed out, but it would be their privilege to alter the prevailing state of affairs and win men from their attachment to the bar to that of a staunch allegiance to the cradle. And any woman worth her salt would find that not only an easy task but a congenial task.”

There is, however, another side to the picture for the same paper in the same article says: “Women who follow their husbands to the goldfields must be content to play second fiddle. The man looks upon speculation as his mistress, the bar, the open call, and the club as his companions. They become more essential, and, we regret to say, often more attractive to him than the canvas home and the wife’s conversation.

A goldfield ruins a man for domestic life, for what man can enjoy cold mutton, or even hot roast beef, with his wife, after boarding at a first-class hotel where he meets brainy men who give him an appetite? On a goldfield men of keen intelligence congregate, and they imbibe a love for gambling and speculation. Many of them will never settle down again, but wander from field to field making and losing fortunes. Travel they may enjoy, or life in the metropolis, but never again the domestic hearth and the constant ripple of a woman’s tongue”.

General view Londonderry Mine, Coolgardie, 1895?

General view Londonderry Mine, Coolgardie, 1895?

Over one hundred years later, Bernard Salt similarly suggested that single women make their way to a mining town in his 2008 book, “Man Drought”. According to Salt, the town with the best ratio of single men to single women on the Australian continent at the time of the 2006 census was the resources town of Glenden 165 km west of Mackay in Queensland.

Did you, or someone you know find love while working in a mining town? We would love to hear your story in the comments section below!

For fans of The Kings Speech

If you’d like to discover more about Lionel Logue, speech therapist to the Duke of York (who became King George VI) and the subject of the recent movie, The Kings Speech, check out Trove.

This treasure trove of resources can be found here http://trove.nla.gov.au/ Click on Digitized Newspapers and More, and type Lionel Logue in the search box. The results show many newspaper articles and snippets referring to both Mr and Mrs Logue. Enjoy browsing!

More Western Australian newspapers online

 We now have the Western Argus from 1896 – November 1916 available through Australian Newspapers Online. Once completed the Western Argus will be available online from November 1894 to June 1938. This goldfields newspaper is a wealth of information containing local social news, mining news including annual reports, Australian and world news and much much more. This newspaper is a great resource for researchers and family historians alike. The Brennan – Maher Wedding in 1899 for example not only provides a picture of the wedding party but gives a complete list of both attending guests and presents.

Western Argus 30/11/1899

Coming soon…..The Sunday Times and Western Mail!

Missing home, need news?

You’re a homesick Irish backpacker yearning for some local Celtic content.  Read the latest Irish Times online at the State Library.  Whether on microfilm, newsprint or online, the State Library will give you access to a large array of newspapers, from neighbourhood to international, current or historic. See what’s going on in your home town. You’ll feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                      Most e-newspapers are available only within the  library.  register with the library to access and book library computers.  Access the database from our Electronic Resources e-Newspapers page.

“The West Australian” digital archive now available at for searching in the State Library

Newspaper House, home of The West Australian, 1957

Newspaper House, home of The West Australian, 1957

Interested in searching through back issues of The West Australian?   The West Australian Archive Digital Editions is now available for searching in the State Library.  This database covers all issues of the newspaper from July 2004 until yesterday.  It contains the same content, editorial and photographic material including the classifieds for birth, death and marriage notices, you’ll find in the printed version with the exception of The West Magazine and commercial inserts which are not included.  It can be searched using keywords and articles can be printed.

This database is available on computers within the State Library – you will need to register with the library to access and book library computers.

As of July 2014 State Library members can also access this database from home. Information on who is eligible for membership and how to join is found on our eresources at Home page.

You can find the database via our Electronic Resources e-Newspapers page or from its catalogue record.

Interested in earlier issues?  You can search digitised issues of The West Australian from late 1879 to 1954 on the Digitised newspapers and more section of TROVE.

The Australian Newspapers service [developed by the National library] allows access to historic Australian newspapers digitised as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program. For further information about the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP), view the public website at: http://www.nla.gov.au/ndp

If you need information from issues between 1955 and 2003 they are  available on microfilm (along with earlier and later editions that are also in the online services), you can view the microfilm at the State Library.

If you need help finding information from The West or if you are unable to visit the State Library to use the database or microfilm please contact the State Library’s information services

[Updated 19 October 2011, 2 July 2014]