Primary contactGround Floor, William Square 45 Francis Street, Northbridge Postal address: PO Box 239, Northbridge WA 6865
Perth, Western Australia 6003
With whales’ teeth and weather records from the early years of the Swan River Colony, the National Archives collection in Perth is rich and diverse. It documents a variety of Commonwealth government activities, including migration, customs, postal and telegraph services, meteorology, veterans’ affairs, and Aboriginal affairs. The collection also encompasses scientific research, civil aviation, and the administration of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
While most of the records date from Federation and beyond, the collection includes some nineteenth century records inherited from the Western Australian colonial government when functions such as customs and postal services passed to the Commonwealth.
Highlights of the Perth collection include nineteenth century meteorological records, historic photographic collections of Customs and the Postmaster General’s Department, and lighthouse records. Plans, drawings and construction files for post and telegraph offices document the early development of a communication network in Western Australia. Samples of whale teeth and the bird research papers of Dr DL Serventy are among CSIRO records held in Perth.
A large collection of migrant records includes certificates of exemption from the Dictation Test, alien registrations, migrant selection documents and naturalisation files. As Fremantle was the first port of call for many migrants, the passenger lists held in Perth are a rich source for researchers seeking information about the arrival of family members in Australia.
The National Archives’ collection database, RecordSearch, gives online access to the National Archives’ holdings Australia-wide. See https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx
For a full list of guides to the National Archives’ collection, see: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/publications/guides/index.aspx
The National Archives now has a dual-site operational model in Western Australia, with access services (Northbridge) and records storage (Belmont) in separate locations.
This change in 2018-19 means records must now be ordered in advance. To avoid delays we encourage researchers contact us (at http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/askquestion/ ) before they visit.