Broome Historical Society and Museum, Broome, Western Australia

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Broome Historical Society and Museum, Broome, Western Australia

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Broome Historical Museum, Broome, Western Australia


  • Community

Contact area





Street address

67 Robinson Street, Broome
Postal address: PO Box 559, Broome 6725




Western Australia

Country name

Postal code



08 9192 2075



Description area


The Broome Historical Society was founded in 1975. The Society hoped their presence would preserve and protect historical items that belonged in Broome and were in danger of being removed from Broome or discarded.

The society’s first display was held during the Shinju Matsuri Festival in 1975 and by 1977 the collection had grown to require a display space. The Old Lockup in Chinatown was offered and the Society began operating a museum. This small space was quickly outgrown and in 1980 the Old Custom’s House became available. The Broome Historical Museum was officially opened in 1981.

Since then the society's collection has grown to spread over three buildings in the Heritage Precinct, including the historic Sailmaker’s Shed, which was awarded a Western Australian Heritage Award and a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Commendation in 2013.

Geographical and cultural context

Broome is a pearling and tourist town in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, on the Indian Ocean.

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Officer in charge: President

Records management and collecting policies

The history of Broome including its pearling industry, the lives of the people who make up its multicultural community and its significance as a bombed town during World War II.



  • Local Pearling Businesses: Ledger and employment records, 1890s-1950s.
  • Sub-Collector of Customs, Broome: Records of imported pearling crews, 1910-1975.
  • The West Australian: News articles on Broome, 1950s-1991.
  • Fisheries Department WA: Register of Pearling Divers and Crew, 1912-1940s.
  • Jean Haynes (nee Kennedy): Family Albums and Mementoes, 1905-1987.

Finding aids, guides and publications

  • Reference guide to Broome Pearling Masters with listing of their luggers, 1913-1941, 1947-1970.
  • Reference guide to Lugger Records for Broome, 1913-1941, 1947-1970.

Access area

Opening times


  • May-September: Monday to Friday: 10am-4pm; Weekends: 10am-1pm
  • October-April: 10am-1pm everyday.

Collections research: For those wishing to access records, please contact the society to make arrangements.

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

General reference assistance available. For further information, see

Reproduction services

Copying services available.

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Immigration (Thematic area)
  • Industry, Manufacturing and Commerce (Thematic area)
  • Labour (Thematic area)
  • Local Studies (Thematic area)
  • Social Organisations and Activities (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

67 Robinson Street, Broome Postal address: PO Box 559, Broome 6725
Broome, Western Australia 6725