Local Studies


The Bassendean Local Studies Collection originated in 1986 with the deposit of Jennie Carter’s research material gathered for her social history of Bassendean, a book commissioned and published by the Town of Bassendean. Since then the collection has been built up, initially with volunteer assistance from the Bassendean Historical Society and since 2000, with the services of a professional librarian.

In the new library the collection has its own dedicated area which includes a research room for library patrons. The collection has been extensively developed and re-organised since October 2005 and this has led to greatly improved access to its resources.

History of Bassendean

One of the earliest areas of Perth to be settled, Bassendean has a rich and interesting history, encompassing pre-1829 Aboriginal settlement, the arrival of the first Europeans in 1827, gentleman farmers, convicts and Pensioner Guards.

It grew rapidly during the goldrush years of the 1890’s and 1900’s and from the early 1900’s, the suburb’s working class character was largely developed because of its attraction as a residential area for the labour force of the Midland Railway Workshops. This trend was reinforced with the establishment in the 1920’s of large, industrial businesses like Hadfields and Cuming Smith.

Post-World War II emigration saw an influx of a mix of European nationalities, giving Bassendean its cosmopolitan flavour.

Further Reading

Two history books about Bassendean have been written;  A History of Bassendean (1947) by Alf Thomas and Bassendean : A Social History 1829-1979  (1986) by Jennie Carter. Both are available to borrow from the Library in printed format. You can read A History of Bassendean by Alf Thomas in pdf from the Library Catalogue and can listen and borrow Bassendean :  A Social History 1829-1979 in mp3 format.

See also the Town of Bassendean’ s Municipal (Heritage) Inventory

Town of Bassendean State Heritage site information can be found here

State Heritage sites

The Collection

A valuable repository about the development, society and culture of the Bassendean, Ashfield and Eden Hill communities, in which historical and current materials relating to the geographical, sociological, educational, cultural, economic and political aspects of the area are collected.

Types of material include books, pamphlets, diaries, letters, local government archives, maps, photographs, oral history tapes and transcripts, microfiche, videotapes, maps, newspapers, periodicals and ephemera. Search the Local Studies Collection by using the Library Catalogue.  A guide to Indigenous Resources located in Local Studies Collection.

Local Studies Collection

Bassendean War Memorial

Access to all Service Records for men listed on the Bassendean War Memorial are available online at Discovering Our Anzacs. Service Records for soldiers who fought and fell and who are listed on the Bassendean War Memorial are available at this Discovering Our Anzacs tribute. The Service Records are made accessible by the National Archives of Australia. Learn more about the Bassendean War Memorial at the Australian War Memorial’s Places of Pride.

Local Soldiers Who Died in Service

Bassendean War Memorial brochure


Donations of documents, photographs and family information relevant to West Guildford, Bassendean, Ashfield and Eden Hill are always welcome.

Download the Memory Makers form and return it completed to the Local Studies Librarian to ensure your family is represented in the Local Studies Collection.

Memory Makers Form

Community Guided Walks

  • Participants walk at their own risk.
  • Your safety is your responsibility.
  • Guided walks are wheel chair and pram friendly.
  • Please wear appropriate apparel for the weather conditions and bring along a water bottle.
  • Recording of the guided walk content is not permitted.
  • Additional walks can be arranged for groups on request, subject to the availability of the experienced, volunteer guide. 


Historic Homes in Bassendean Walk (SUSPENDED)

Walk around Bassendean with an experienced volunteer guide and learn about some amazing places and architecture including Daylesford House and Holme House. Start and finish at Bassendean Primary School.

Meet outside of Bassendean Primary School at the administration centre (West Road) at 9.45am for 10am start.  Duration 2 hours. Parking available at Harcourt Street 

Participants walk at their own risk.

Tuesday 3 March

Thursday 2 July

Thursday 5 November


River Walk (SUSPENDED)

Stroll along the Swan River in Bassendean from Point Reserve to Success Hill and return to Point Reserve with an experienced volunteer guide.

Learn about local history including interesting people, architecture and natural features. Meet at Point Reserve 9.45am for 10am start. Duration 2 hours.  Please park in top carpark.  Participants walk at their own risk.

Tuesday 5 May

Thursday 3 September

Old Perth Road Walk (SUSPENDED)

Walk along Old Perth Road, learning about early shops, the importance of the railway station, a local church, St Marks, and the Bassendean Fire Station concluding at the Bassendean War Memorial.

Meet in the Bassendean Memorial Library foyer. 9.45am for 10am start. Duration 1.5 hours.

Participants walk at their own risk.

Tuesday 4 February

Tuesday 2 June

Thursday 1 October

Exploring Eden Hill Walk (SUSPENDED)

Explore Eden Hill and learn about Mary Crescent Reserve, a registered Aboriginal site, Alf Faulkner Hall and Eden Hill Primary School.

Meet on Robinson Road, outside the Stan Moses Pavilion, Eden Hill 9.45am for a 10am start. Duration 2 hours.

Participants walk at their own risk.

Tuesday 7 April

Thursday 6 August

Thursday 3 December

No booking required

Guided Walk Evaluation Form

Opening Hours

The collection is staffed from Monday-Friday, 9.00am - 4.00pm, access can be facilitated throughout the week if prior arrangements are made.

Local Studies Links

Bassendean Historical Society Inc.
Family HistoryWA
Royal Western Australian Historical Society Inc
State Library of Western Australia 
State Records Office of Western Australia 
National Archives of Australia
Trove - National Library of Australia
Metropolitan Cemetery Board (Perth)
WA Pioneer’s Index (Department of Attorney General)
WA Reverse Marriage Index
AIF Project
Commonwealth War Graves Commission 

Bassendean Historical Society Inc.
Formed in 1991, the volunteer members of the Bassendean Historical Society open the Pensioner Guard Cottage at 1 Surrey Street, Bassendean on the last Sunday of each month for members of the public.

State Library of WA
The Battye Library holds a large collection of material relating to Western Australia.

State Records Office
The State Records Office provides recording keeping services to Government, preserves the State Archives collection and makes state archives accessible for researchers.

Is a search engine giving access to millions of items in Australian collections.  Simply by searching for ‘Bassendean’ you will find many relevant images, newspaper articles and maps. You can limit your search to Western Australia by using the advanced newspaper search. See also over one hundred Trove Lists, selected and organised by the Local Studies Librarian, about people, places and events in Ashfield, Eden Hill and Bassendean.

National Archives of Australia
In addition to holding more than 100 years of Australian Government records, the National Archives is a great place to research your family history.  Search war service records if your family members served in the Australian Armed Forces.  Immigration records of those who migrated to Australia in the 20th century are also available.

Heritage Council of WA
The WA Heritage Database lists the State Register of Heritage Places as well as those on local government heritage inventories, Commonwealth heritage lists and places classified by the National Trust.

Royal Historical Society of WA
The society collects and preserves the history of Western Australia and has an extensive reference library and photographic collection.

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online
Australia's pre-eminent dictionary of national biography. Find concise, informative and fascinating descriptions of the lives of significant and representative persons in Australian history.

The Western Australian Post office Directories 1893 - 1949
The post office directories are an invaluable source of information for anyone who is doing family history or research on Western Australia during the period 1893-1949.

Family History WA (formerly WAGS)
Visit this site to find out about the society’s products and services and view links to all Local Studies Centres in the metropolitan area.

Landgate and various State Government Agencies have pooled their resources to create a fantastic free gallery of Western Australian maps.  To access archival images select ‘Historic Maps’ followed by ‘Zoom to area’. For Aerial imagery dating back to 1948 over Perth and 1953 over the metro area, visit Landgate’s ‘Mapviewer’

Metropolitan Cemetery Board

The Metropolitan Cemeteries Board manages and maintains six cemetery and memorial garden sites around Perth. The Board provides basic death details in records available online.

Birth, Death and Marriage WA Online Index

The Pioneers Index provided by the Department of Attorney General, the State’s Birth, Death and Marriage online index.

BIRTHS (1841-1932)

DEATHS (1841-1971)

MARRIAGES (1841-1936)

WA Reverse Marriage Index 1906-1965

Supplementing information contained in the WA Online Index the WA Reverse Marriage Index allows you to search for both men and women marrying in Western Australia within the date range.

Australian Imperial Force

The AIF Project is an online database that draws on a wide range of sources to provide details on the 330,000 men and women who served overseas in the (First) Australian Imperial Force, 1914-1918.This site provides free access to World War l service record summaries and is searchable by name, state, number.

All WWI and WWII service records are only available from National Archives of Australia at www.naa.gov.au

WWI Nominal roll and embarkation roll and all Australians who died in all wars is on Australian War Memorial website – www.awm.gov.au

WWII www.ww2roll.gov.au information on WWII servicemen.

Comonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission honours the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars, and ensures they will never be forgotten.


Local Studies Librarian: Janet Megarrity
Telephone: (08) 9279 2966
Fax: (08) 9279 1869
Address: Bassendean Memorial Library, 46 Old Perth Road, Bassendean, 6054