Local History

If you have a Local History query, please email local.history@swan.wa.gov.au. Many items in the Local History Collection are now available for viewing, watching or listening to online.

It’s always fascinating to find out about your town or suburb’s history. The City of Swan has an interesting and unique background, which is all encompassed in our Local History Collection.

Housed on the first floor of the Midland Public Library, the collection includes a large number of books, newspapers, reports, photographs, maps and oral history recordings and transcripts – all relating to the City of Swan. The collection represents a fascinating and comprehensive source of information about the people, buildings, events and places covering the City’s early settlement days to the present. 

The collection

The Local History Collection contains the following:

Books and reports

These include published and non-published material and cover a wide range of subjects such as school, church and sporting histories, biographies, town planning, traffic, heritage and environmental studies and railway history.


Photos of people, places and events are arranged in numerical order, with subject access through the City of Swan Libraries online catalogue.
[Note: Photographs may have been digitally enhanced or edited for clearer reproduction]


Copies of current newspapers published in the City of Swan are kept and indexed for items of local interest. The "Swan Express" newspaper, published from 1900 to 1978, is available on microfiche.


Pamphlets, programs, leaflets and cuttings are arranged alphabetically by subject and housed in the vertical file.

Oral history

There are recorded memoirs of long-term residents of the City of Swan, as well as recordings of the Westrail Workshops History Project and the Guildford Primary School history. Transcripts are available for viewing and selected oral histories are now available for loan.


Maps, real estate agent's plans and street directories from across the City can be viewed.

The collection online

Many of these materials have now been made available in digital formats available through the library catalogue via a keyword search.

To access items that are not available online, email local.history@swan.wa.gov.au.

You can find out more about the history of the City of Swan by visiting History & heritage.

Ancestry.com Library Edition


Access Ancestry Library Edition from home! Public Libraries have been provided with temporary remote access to Ancestry Library Edition through to December 31, 2021.

Login details:

  • Enter your library barcode located on the back of your library card exactly as it appears on your library card (UPPER CASE)
  • The password is your Library Account password (if you don't know your password, contact your local library)


The Local History Collection is constantly growing and donations are always welcome. We will accept, photographs, maps, research notes, books, letters, diaries, sporting, church and business records. Any records pertaining to the City of Swan which can be preserved are of interest to us. Contact local.history@swan.wa.gov.au to make a donation.

Research Guide

With the plethora of information available online today it can be difficult to know where to start researching people and buildings. A Guide to Researching People and Buildings(PDF, 6MB) lists trusted online resources and the type of information that they hold.