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 part-time local studies librarians.

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 and Thematic Index

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 Mapping Our Anzacs. Service Records for soldiers who fought and fell and who are listed on the Bassendean War Memorial are available at this Mapping Our Anzacs tribute. The Service Records are made accessible by the National Archives of Australia.

Local Soldiers Who Died in Service


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

Guided Walks (Free!)

Learn about local history, culture and architecture on Old Perth Road with your volunteer guide. First Wednesday of each month in 2018 (excluding January).  Meet at the Bassendean Memorial Library foyer at 9.45am for a 10am start. Duration 1.5 hours.

7 February
4 April
6 June
1 August
3 October
5 December
Dates in bold– meet at Bassendean Village Shopping Centre near travellator at 9.45am for a 10am start. Duration 1.5 hours.

7 March
2 May
4 July
5 September
7 November

Guided Walk 2018

The Swan River walk will start from Point Reserve on North Road at 10am and will head east towards Success Hill, taking in historical sites, architecture and points of interest along the way. Highlights include our unique pillar box, Earlsferry House and the significant Moreton Bay fig tree. When: Second Thursday of each month in 2018 (excluding January).

What to bring? Comfortable shoes, a water bottle and weather appropriate apparel. Walks will take place rain, hail or shine.

*Meet at Point Reserve, North Road Bassendean (please park at the top carpark)

River Walk 2018

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 

Contact Us

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