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

Real estate plans online

57/8/16: Sandringham Estate

57/8/16: Sandringham Estate

Have you ever thought about looking for a real estate plan of your suburb or a suburb where someone in your family lived?

The Library holds hundreds of real estate plans which were produced when new land releases became available. Most are for suburbs in the metropolitan area and date from the late 1800s or early 1900s. Although it looks as though many of these plans are adorned with the swastika symbol, it is in fact a sacred good luck symbol for some religions in India.

57/7/7: West Guildford

57/7/7: West Guildford

57/7/33: Scarborough Beach Estate

57/7/33: Scarborough Beach Estate

A project has begun to digitise these plans and many of the ones produced by Peet & Co. have now been completed and can be viewed online through our catalogue. They show blocks of land, often with the dimensions, roads and features such as lakes, tramlines or railway stations; sometimes individual houses and landowners are marked. It is really interesting to see the prices charged for land 100 or so years ago.

You can find real estate plans in our catalogue by searching under keyword for ‘peet and co real estate’ and selecting State Library Maps from the drop-down box.

57/7/2: Cityview Estate: the dress circle of Kalamunda

57/7/2: Cityview Estate: the dress circle of Kalamunda

Heritage digital content now easier to find

A new series of web pages makes it much easier to find some of the Western Australian heritage content which has been digitised by the State Library. Arranged by theme such as Birth, Marriage and Death, Crime and Punishment and Migration, you can browse these pages to find some hidden treasures!

Go to the Heritage Online page to see how to download and search content and then browse the list of themed pages on the left-hand side.

The first illustration below is from the Biographies and Directories page and the second is from the Births, Marriages and Deaths page.

The Ho. Edwin Rose from Men of Western Australia, Plate 4

The Hon. Edwin Rose from Men of Western Australia, Plate 4


Studio portrait of Mrs Nuttall in her wedding dress c.1917, 153000PD

Studio portrait of Mrs Nuttall in her wedding dress c.1917, 153000PD

e-Books at the State Library – Safari Tech Books Online

Did you know our collection includes e-books? One of our e-book collections is Safari Tech Books Online – “A library of books on information technology, desktop applications and business, digitized and made available by Safari Books Online in conjunction with the original publishers. Safari books online is the e-reference library of Computer Science titles for programmers and IT professionals.”

You can browse the whole collection by clicking the link above, or searching for Safari Tech Books in the catalogue.  You’ll also find links from individual titles in the catalogue e.g. Beginning iPhone games development – BUT you can only access these books if you have State Library of WA membership or are accessing from within our building…

More than just Google – free workshops at the State Library

SEaK – Search Engage and Know
Do you feel lost on the information highway?
Don’t know where to start looking for information?
Feel intimidated by the library or the internet?

The State Library has a range of free, practical hands-on workshops where you can improve your research skills and get internet search tips and tricks. All sessions are designed to give you a head start in uncovering the wealth of information available in the Library’s collections and online.

For full details visit the State Library website.

New databases launched for National Family History Week!

As of today, two exciting new databases have been launched at the State Library just in time for National Family History Week.

17th & 18th Century Burney Collection

This collection has nearly 1 million pages of digitised rare 17th and 18th century material published in Britain and the colonies including pamphlets, broadsides and newspapers.

19th Century British Library Newspapers

This database consists of over 2 million pages of digitised 19th century newspaper titles held in the British Library. Newspapers are from all over Britain including Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as England.

British Newspapers 1600 – 1900

Select this option to search across the two collections at once.

Because there are so many regional newspapers in the database, you have a very good chance of finding references to your ancestors. Even if you can’t find them mentioned, try searching for the name of their town or village and limiting your search to their lifetime to discover local and national events which may have affected them. These collections will also be of enormous interest to historians. For instance, searching for the keywords “Swan River” results in over 5,000 hits.

You can access the new databases from any public computer within the State Library and they are very simple to use. Next time you’re in the State Library, why not pick up one of our promotional bookmarks and have a go.

For information on the wonderful events we have lined up for Family History Week have a look at our website at www.slwa.wa.gov.au/famhistwk.html



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.


Open Science Directory

Online subscription databases are great – however it can be frustrating when you find the answer to a client’s question and then realise that you can’t send it on because of your institution’s licensing agreement with the database’s owners.  This is becoming much more common as clients from all over the world contact libraries using email and chat services. 

Fortunately there are some services that enable you to search for and find reliable and free information on the web.  One such service (recently featured on the Scout Report) is the Open Science Directory.

The directory aims:

To create a global search tool for all open access and special programs journal titles.

and targets:

Institutes (universities, research units, …) and their researchers in developing countries.

Every organization and researcher interested in these collections.

Anyone using this site can search across a multitude of scientific journals and (where they are available) access full text articles at no cost.  So – if you (or  your library clients) are unable to access expensive scientific databases, the Open Science Directory should be a great resource.