Local History Collection

Local History queries can still be lodged by email directed to the Local History Librarian. 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.

Photographs

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]

Newspapers

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.

Ephemera

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

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.  Focused searches can be made by using these search terms:

  • Photographs – use subject being searched followed by ‘jpeg’. For example ‘midland town hall jpeg’.
  • Maps – use subject being searched followed by ‘map jpeg’. For example ‘midland map jpeg’.
  • Videos – use subject being searched followed by ‘mp4’. For example ‘midland mp4’.
  • Oral history recordings – use subject being searched followed by ‘oh’. For example ‘gidgegannup oh’.
  • Local History Displays – use subject being searched followed by ‘lh display’. For example ‘floods lh display’

To access items that are not available online, contact the Local History Librarian.

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

Ancestry.com Library Edition

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Access Ancestry.com Library Edition from home while our libraries are closed.

Public Libraries have been provided with temporary remote access to Ancestry Library Edition through to June 30, 2020.

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)

Donations

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. Donations can be made by contacting the Local History Librarian.

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.