State Records Office of Western Australia

Identity area



Authorized form of name

State Records Office of Western Australia

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • State Archives of Western Australia until 1995
  • Public Records Office of Western Australia, 1995-1999


  • State

Contact area


State Archivist and Executive Director State Records



Street address

James Street Mall, Alexander Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth




Western Australia

Country name

Postal code



08 9427 3600


08 9427 3638


Description area


The nucleus of the State Records Office of Western Australia (SROWA) collections is the Colonial Secretary's Office records which were acquired in 1903 by the first Librarian of the then Public Library, Dr James S. Battye.

Concern about the destruction of valuable records prompted the formation of the Public Records Committee in 1923, which was revived as the State Archives Board in 1929.

In March 1945, Mollie Lukis was appointed as the first Archivist and the Archives Branch operated as such until the establishment of the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History in 1956. From that time until 1988 the State Archives and the Battye Library were administered as one co-located unit.

With the growth in interest of the role of government archives and accountability, in May 1988 the State Archives was established as a separate Directorate of The Library and Information Service of Western Australia (LISWA).

In 1990 the State Archives established a Records Management Branch (now called State Information Management Services), to enable it to engage more actively in records management matters at both State and Local Government level. The State Archives was also renamed the Public Records Office in 1995.

April 1999 saw a name change to its current form, coinciding with the move to the ground floor of the Alexander Library Building. The passing of the State Records Act in November 2000 and the subsequent establishment of the State Records Commission has begun a new chapter in the history of the State Records Office.

The most notable development to date being the achievement of independence from LISWA, with the State Records Office attaining status as an independent agency operating within the Department of Culture and the Arts, and more recently (2017) within the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Geographical and cultural context

The entire State of Western Australia.

Mandates/Sources of authority

State Records Act 2000 (WA).

Administrative structure

The State Records Office delivers records management and archival services to State and Local Government agencies and the general public. Standards, policies, guidelines and instructional publications are produced to promote and implement a government-wide approach to best practice recordkeeping.

The SRO enables public access to State Archives through the provision of a purpose built Search Room in the Alexander Library Building in the Perth Cultural Centre, as well descriptive catalogue information and digitised material available through an online catalogue.

These services are undertaken by two teams - Archival Services and State Information Management Services.

Records management and collecting policies

The State Records Office of Western Australia is responsible for:

  • providing records management and archival services to government agencies
  • preserving archival records
  • providing reference services for researchers

in accordance with the State Records Act 2000 (WA).


South west corner of the Alexander Library Building in the Perth Cultural Centre.


15kms of State Archives in SROWA custody, including:

  • State Archives about Aboriginal people
  • Public works architectural plans and maps
  • Colonial and Governor's Establishment records
  • Convict records
  • Supreme, District and Local Court records
  • Education and school records
  • Land settlement records
  • Harbour, shipping records and 19th century passenger lists
  • Hospital and health records
  • Local Government records
  • Maps Online
  • Mining records
  • Police records
  • Premier, Cabinet and Parliamentary records
  • Prison and gaol records
  • Railway records
  • State agriculture and environmental records.

Finding aids, guides and publications

SROWA's primary finding aid is its online catalogue at:

Access area

Opening times

Open Tuesday to Friday 10am-4.30pm.

Access conditions and requirements

Please see conditions of use of State Archives webpage:

Clients wishing to view original archives need to be registered as researchers and agree to abide by the access conditions described on the registration form.


Services area

Research services

The SROWA offers a limited reference query service to clients who live in Western Australian regional areas, are disabled, live interstate or overseas and are thus unable to attend the Search Room in person.

See the reference queries webpage for more details:

Reproduction services

SRO offers fee-based copying and digitisation services for the public.
See Copying of Archives webpage for more details including charges:

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 16 April 2018




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Thematic area)
  • Agriculture (Thematic area)
  • Arts and Culture (Thematic area)
  • Built Environment (Thematic area)
  • Communication (Thematic area)
  • Defence (Thematic area)
  • Education (Thematic area)
  • Environment (Thematic area)
  • Family / Domestic Life (Thematic area)
  • Genealogical (Thematic area)
  • Geography (Thematic area)
  • Immigration (Thematic area)
  • Indigenous (Thematic area)
  • Industry, Manufacturing and Commerce (Thematic area)
  • Labour (Thematic area)
  • Law and Justice (Thematic area)
  • Local Studies (Thematic area)
  • Media (Thematic area)
  • Medicine and Health (Thematic area)
  • Natural Resources (Thematic area)
  • Out of Home Care (Thematic area)
  • Politics and Government (Thematic area)
  • Populations (Thematic area)
  • Recreation / Leisure / Sports (Thematic area)
  • Science and Technology (Thematic area)
  • Transportation (Thematic area)
  • Travel and Exploration (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

James Street Mall, Alexander Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
Perth, Western Australia 6000