Web Archiving at SLWA

Each year, the State Library of Western Australia contributes hundreds of Western Australian websites to PANDORA, Australia’s web archive. PANDORA is a world class web archive established by the National Library of Australia in 1996.  It is built collaboratively by 11 cultural institutions across the country, with SLWA contributing Western Australian content to this ever-growing national archive.  Websites are selected for their significance, their authority or research value, their representation of social or topical issues, and also to reflect the diversity of our state. These can include the websites of organisations, community groups, individuals, festivals, events, and sites about various topical and political issues, election campaigns, interests and activities.

Freycinet website code

HTML website code

Web archiving involves selecting, copying (but only with the permission of the website owner!), quality checking and preserving specific websites.  For copyright reasons, SLWA can only archive a website if the website owner has given permission, so we will always contact the website publisher to ask permission before we archive.  Once archived, the live website may continue to change or eventually disappear, but the archived instance will remain as it was at the time it was captured.  The average lifespan of web content is difficult to determine, but various estimates suggest that an individual webpage may last on average as little as 100 days. That means that an awful lot of Western Australia’s web presence may be at risk of disappearing at any one time.

Deckchair theatre 2012 website

Deckchair Theatre’s website, captured 8 March 2012

Many of the websites preserved by SLWA are no longer in existence.  For example, we archived the website of the Deckchair Theatre company from 2008, with the final snapshot captured just a few months before the theatre closed in 2012.  We archived websites related to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Perth in 2011, including the official website and the 2011 Commonwealth Festival, which showcased arts and culture in Western Australia at the same time.  These sites lasted until at least 2013, interestingly, but were eventually shut down as they had outlived their immediate usefulness to their creators.  Less attractive perhaps, but just as important historically (and legally), are the websites of the WA health practitioners registration boards – Psychologists, Dentists, Occupational Therapists, Medical Radiation Technologists etc. – which ceased to operate between 2010 and 2012 when national registration came into effect.

Web archiving also preserves changes in information and design over time. Below is how the websites of three state political parties looked at the time of the 2001 WA state election.

Compared to similar websites even during the 2008 state election and 2013 state election, they look very dated today, but that was the current state of the art in web design. With state and federal elections looming in the coming months, SLWA web archivists are already gearing themselves up to capture and preserve the next wave of election-related websites.

The web is an integral part of contemporary life, and increasingly contains information and content that cannot be found in any other medium. By capturing Western Australian websites we are helping to preserve our digital history, culture and experience.

Yarloop, a small town with a big history

A devastating fire on Thursday 7th January 2016 has destroyed most of the town of Yarloop. The tragic loss of life, property and living history in this small and close community has touched all Western Australians. We would like to share  a selection of photographs and documents about Yarloop from the State Library’s heritage collections. We hope that these images will evoke some memories.

The 2006 census gives Yarloop’s population as 545 but this little town has had an association with many W.A. families.

Wedding party of Rufus Burnsyde and Mary Eastcott, Yarloop 1909 slwa b2786290

Wedding party of Rufus Burnsyde and Mary Eastcott, Yarloop 1909 slwa b2786290

Yarloop is 129km south of Perth and is part of the Shire of Harvey. The town was established in 1894 but European settlement began slowly from the late 1840s and built up during the 1880s. The name Yarloop is thought to have originated from the local language of the Binjareb or Pindjarup people.

Timber and farming, mainly dairy and fruit, have been the mainstays of the local economy. More recently tourism has been encouraged with historic trails, wildflower walks and cycling routes developed. Sadly the The Yarloop Workshops, so brilliantly restored and maintained by the local community, have also gone. The Yarloop Workshops Website includes a history and slideshow that detail just how much has been lost in the fires.

Jack Davis

Jack Davis, poet and dramatist.   Ron Williams Collection

Jack Davis the Aboriginal poet and dramatist was raised in Yarloop. Davis is best known for his plays The Dreamers (1982) and No Sugar (1985).

Yarloop 1910 - 1920 slwa b2944123

Yarloop 1910 – 1920 slwa b2944123

Steam whim hauling at Yarloop 1905 SLWA 000965d

Steam whim hauling at Yarloop 1905 000965d

In the early 20th century Millars’ Timber Company established a ‘company’ town, adjacent to the original townsite, as the hub of its business with rail access linking the town to Bunbury and Perth. The original Millars’ mill was at Waigerup Brook (now Wagerup). The first mill in the Yarloop area is believed to have been Waterous Mill.

Building a whim wheel Yarloop c. 1903 004471D

Building a whim wheel Yarloop c. 1903
004471D

The heritage buildings, rail and workshops are irreplaceable but many aspects of the history of the town have been documented.

The State Records Office of Western Australia holds the official records of government. For Yarloop their extensive collections will include land records and maps; Department of Education files on teachers and schools; student registers; police reports; building records and Department of Health files. Documents will cover various aspects of agriculture, environment, railways, planning, building, decommissioning and conservation from various Western Australian government departments.

A visit to the National Archives of Australia’s Discovering ANZACS website will help to identify the records of soldiers who served in WWI who were born in or gave their home address as Yarloop.

The main National Archives site can be searched to find names and records of soldiers (and rejected applicants) from the defence services including those who served in WWII, Vietnam and the Citizen Military Force who hailed from Yarloop.

The State Library’s contribution to the National Library of Australia’s Trove Newspaper website includes The South West Advertiser 1910 – 1954 and the Harvey Chronicle 1915 – 1916. Other local newspapers are held at the State Library and may be found through our catalogue using the keyword terms NEWSPAPERS and YARLOOP.  Researchers can read about local issues such as timber and railway workers’ strikes, police activities and social events. We are fortunate to have the photograph collection from the weekly newspaper Truth, published from 1903 to 1931 (and also in Trove), which includes local scandal from all over W.A.  One article from 1929 gleefully details the story of the spurned lover who tried to blow up the Yarloop Hotel with gelignite.

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The State Library holds a variety of material relating to Yarloop.  In our large archive of Millars’ Timber records, pay and accident registers document individuals who worked for the company, as well as local production figures. There are also many photographs in this collection.

Diaries kept by James Owen Mitchell, his wife Rose (nee Perrin) and, occasionally, his son Stephen, detail the day-to-day life at their farm “Blacklands” at Yarloop from the early 1890s to James’ death in 1945.

Mitchall Diaries SLWA Acc687A

Mitchell Diaries SLWA Acc687A

Mitchell Diaries Acc687A

Mitchell Diaries Acc687A

In May 1951 Edith Reynolds [nee Clinch-?] wrote a letter from Yarloop Hospital describing the new wing as “particularly nice, one feels as though you were in one of the best hotels in Perth“.

Letter from Edith Reynolds 1951 Princep papers Acc7093A 51

Letter from Edith Reynolds 1951 Prinsep papers Acc7093A 51

There are indexes to the Western Australian Railway and Tramway Gazette and the Freemasons’ journal the West Australian Craftsman. These are searchable through the State Library catalogue and researchers may find small profiles or obituaries of people involved in these organisations as well as information about local activities.

Real estate plan Yarloop Townsite 1903

Real estate plan Yarloop Townsite 1903

The State Library also holds published reports on mining, environment issues and agriculture for the Yarloop area. Yarloop: a town to remember is a personal memoir written and published by Geoff Fortune in which he gives a potted history and many anecdotes about the town and its characters from the 1930s onwards. In the section on WWII he talks about the work done by school children of the town to assist with comfort packages for the Australian troops. We happen to have a digital image taken from a small print of the original photograph of school children of various ages and their teacher outside Yarloop School along with boxes labelled “Food for Britain”.  Although we have not identified anyone in this photo, Geoff Fortune is almost certainly one of the children.

School children Yarloop WWII SLWA b1846989

School children Yarloop WWII SLWA b1846989

Oral histories are a particularly evocative source of historical information. Some oral histories in our collection include descriptions of growing up in Yarloop, working on the railway, timber mills, farming life, and nursing. Several are available as podcasts or have transcriptions available online.  To find these in the State Library catalogue do a keyword search using the terms YARLOOP  and ORAL HISTORY. Some of these recordings have been donated by Harvey History Online a group dedicated to recording and making available the history of the Harvey area. Their website includes indexes and background information about local industry, towns in the Harvey Shire, and historical characters.

Shell Park Service Station Yarloop proprietor L.A. Kennewell 1956 114188PD

Shell Park Service Station Yarloop, proprietor L.A. Kennewell 1956 114188PD

Most people are familiar with the online historical database Trove . This website hosts digitised newspapers provided by State Libraries and other government and cultural institutions. However, many are unaware that Trove is a lot more than newspapers. You can also search photographs, journals and diaries, books, music, maps, organisations and people, and archived websites. The section of Trove that collects websites is  PANDORA.  Try using Yarloop as a search term in PANDORA.

In the days since the terrible fires at Yarloop there has been a huge response by people on Facebook and other social media.  People are sharing their photographs and memories of Yarloop. Unfortunately, neither the State Library nor the National Library of Australia (through PANDORA) is able to collect these posts for our heritage collections.

We actively seek the stories and images of our communites to share into the future.  If you have materials which you would be willing to contribute, you can view our kit for potential donors at http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/for/donations/donor_kit, or contact our Collection Liaison team at Collection.Liaison@slwa.wa.gov.au.

Upcoming Seminars

The Family History Subject Specialists will be out and about over the next two weeks. We will be giving talks at Warnbro and Fremantle Public Libraries.

Taking the census. From a sketch by Thomas Worth, Harpers Weekly 19 Nov 1870

Taking the census. From a sketch by Thomas Worth, Harpers Weekly 19 Nov 1870

Warnbro – Black and White and Read all Over
One of the most exciting developments for family history researchers is the rapidly expanding collection of digitised newspapers available. For family historians who think that they have reached the limits of what they can reasonably expect to discover about their forebears, think again!
The State Library subscribes to digitised historic newspaper archives from Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. These are all available to search from home to members of the State Library.
Warnbro Community Library, Swallowtail Parade, Warnbro
Wednesday 6th May 10.30am – 12pm
B
ookings essential: 9528 8577
wclcontact@rockingham.wa.gov.au

State Library family history bookmarks

State Library family history bookmarks

Fremantle – Catalogue conundrums and website whimsies
Have you ever struggled to find what you are looking for in our catalogue or website? This talk introduces some of the family history resources we have at the State Library and how to find them. Whether it is our blog, Facebook page, subject guides, bookmarks, eresources, catalogued items or private archives – you are sure to discover resources you were not aware of. See some of the wonderful items we have digitised and learn a few tricks along the way.
Fremantle  City Library, 8 William Street, Fremantle
Tuesday 12 May 2.30pm – 4pm
Bookings essential: 9432 9739
lhc@fremantle.wa.gov.au

 

North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day, Midland 9th October

Yellow Everlastings

Yellow Everlastings road to Carnarvon

Kambarang – Wildflower season (season of birth) October – November

North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day,  Midland  9th October

Family History Subject Specialists Tricia Fairweather and Leonie Hayes recently attended Kambarang Day at Midland. Appropriately, it was a typical balmy spring day that attracted a good crowd.
The purpose of Kambarang Day is to create awareness in Indigenous communities of health and allied services available and to promote healthy living. There was live music, a petting zoo (very cute piglet), cooking demonstrations, fresh fruit, free health checks and all manner of advice available.
We were attending to support our Indigenous Specialist Damien Webb to promote Storylines the State Library website that has been developed to make our digitised indigenous heritage material available online to Aboriginal people.

Bessie Flower

Anne Camfield (seated) and Bessie Flower, 1860s

Storylines is a growing database of photographs and documents relating to Aboriginal people. So many photographs from our collections have only the original captions: “group of natives at…” or “aboriginal man with spear”. Making them available online is not only a way of returning them but is also helping us to identify many of the individuals in the photographs .

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

We have found demonstrating Storylines to be very rewarding and it has given us a great sense of how close knit the community is. Our experience has encompassed the excitement of a young boy on being shown a delightful photograph of his auntie as a young girl and an elderly gentleman identifying his grandfather and other relatives in a family group.

Domestic science class

Karalundi Mission, September 1960, domestic science class.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

As well as promoting Storylines we were able to assist many people with general and specific enquiries about family history. The day also provided us a welcome opportunity to network with other stallholders and exchange information about the various services we all have to offer.
As Librarians, we were particularly delighted with the stall for Ngala, a provider of early childhood services, that had a selection of some of the most popular picture books as giveaways. We swapped information about our Better Beginnings early literacy programs and left brochures detailing these as well as our eresources for family history.
We were also able to demonstrate our children’s eresources to some youngsters, their older siblings, parents and grandparents. They were particularly taken with Busythings  a fun online suite of games and activities that help children to develop literacy and numeracy while having great fun.
It was a very productive day for us with the added benefit of having an excellent time – although I did have to reluctantly relinquish my freebie yo-yo to a very appealing (and pleading) child.

2011 WA Premier’s Book Awards

Visit our new site: Premier’s Book Awards – http://pba.slwa.wa.gov.au/.

Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western AustraliaLast night Premier Colin Barnett announced Fiona Skyring’s Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia as winner of the 2011 Premier’s Prize worth $25,000.

Highly acclaimed Western Australian author Tim Winton was inducted into our Hall of Fame.

2011 Western Australia’s Premier’s Book Awards Category Winners

  • Non-Fiction:  Alice Pung, Her Father’s Daughter
    Published by Black Inc.
  • Fiction:  Anna Funder, All That I Am
    Published by Penguin Group (Australia)
  • Scripts:  Tim Winton and Ellen Fontana, Cloudstreet: The Screenplay
    Published by Penguin Group (Australia)
  • Children’s Books:   Michelle Gillespie and Sonia Martinez, Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck;
    Published by Fremantle Press.
  • Poetry:  Tracy Ryan, The Argument
    Published by Fremantle Press
  • Young Adults:  Penni Russon, Only Ever Always
    Published by Allen & Unwin
  • State Library of Western Australia WA History:  Fiona Skyring, Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia
    Published by UWA Publishing
  • Digital Narrative Award:  Max Barry, Machine Man
    Published by Scribe Publications
  • People’s Choice Award:  Anna Funder, All That I Am
    Published by Penguin Group (Australia)
  • Premier’s Prize:  Fiona Skyring, Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia;
    Published by UWA Publishing

Congratulations to all of the winners & publishers.

Ancestry talk at Toodyay

The State Library’s family history subject specialists Tricia Fairweather and Leonie Hayes will be visiting Toodyay this Wednesday 22nd June to give a seminar on how to search the genealogy database Ancestry.com: what you can find and the best ways to search.
Tricia and Leonie will also show you how to explore the State Library’s website to discover digitised resources including directories, indexes and guides.  They will advise on effective use of the catalogue, how to find free websites to further your family history research, electronic resources available from home, events, workshops and more. Tricia and Leonie are also happy to offer advice on your own research.

For further information, please contact Toodyay Library on 9574 2323.

Heritage Perth Heritage Days 13 – 14 November 2010

215416PD

Palace Hotel, Perth, c1989 by Richard Woldendorp

In 2010, Heritage Perth Heritage Days will be held on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November.

An exciting program of activities is planned, which aims to make the weekend Perth’s biggest ever heritage event that will showcase the City’s history going back many thousands of years.

The expanded 2010 program will include numerous exciting new venues including; Council House, the Perth Mint, West Australian Club, the Supreme Court, Government House and the Royal Perth Hospital Museum (source: Perth Heritage website, 2010).

Visit the Heritage Perth website.

Photograph of the Palace Hotel by Richard Woldendorp, available in the State Library of Western Australia pictorial collection

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!

Original Western Australian Acts of Parliament now online

We’ve all been able to access current Western Australian legislation online for some time now at the State Law Publisher’s website – however this already valuable source now has added depth with the addition of a listing of Original Acts As Passed.  These acts are optically scanned and searchable and available as printable PDFs.  Of course you can still access the print copies here at the State Library.

All the Western Australian news that’s fit to print (or is that upload)!

You may have noticed some fanfare in the press about Fairfax’s new WA news site… This is only one of several sites specialising in Western Australian News.  For lots of News about WA you can go to:

(Print copies of the West Australian, Sunday Times and WA Business News are available at the State Library)

Need overseas or interstate news?  There’s much more online than Google News Australia!  Try the State Library’s subscription newspaper databases accessible in the Alexander Library Building, use your WA library card to log on to Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre via our Databases From Home, or find out what newspapers are available in Australian Libraries via the National Library of Australian Newspapers Online.