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.

Royal visits to Western Australia

1954 Royal Ball program

The British Royal family have been in the media recently due to the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton. Previous generations of the Royal family have made several visits to Western Australia over the years. The State Library of W.A. has a collection of programs, tickets, passes and itineraries in its ephemera collection produced for these visits.

The earliest item relates to a visit by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1869.

In 1954 a Royal Ball was held at the University of W.A. in honour of H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth ll as part of her Australian tour. She returned in 1962 to open the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth.

Perhaps in the future Prince William and his new wife will visit W.A.

Western Australian company labels

Swan Brewery Company Ltd


The State Library of W.A. has digitised a lovely set of old food and drink labels from Western Australian companies.

You can look at them online if you search the library catalogue under the subject heading Labels — Western Australia.

There are bottle labels from the Swan Brewery, D. & J. Fowler Ltd, E.B. (Bert) Elliott’s  pharmacy in Kalgoorlie, Golden Mile Aerated Water Company,  Felton Grimwade & Bickford drink and vinegar labels and many more.

Happy fossicking!

Wanted! 2010 election campaign material!

Are you being bombarded with campaign material for the upcoming federal election?  Most of us will quickly send this material to our recycling bins, but this ephemeral material is also the stuff of history. 

 The State Library is endeavouring to collect as much Western Australian – 2010 Federal Election ephemera materials as possible for its WA Heritage Collection.   

Polling booths 1940

Polling Booths 1940


So, if you have received candidate or party leaflets/flyers, letters, campaign materials, how-to-vote cards, posters, etc for your local candidates or electorate– don’t throw them out— we would love to receive them. 

 Items can be forwarded to:- 

Collection Development Team
 State Library of Western Australia
25 Francis Street  

(one copy only of each item please!) 

And if you’ve got extra copies you can always send them to the National Library.