Local Studies Collection


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 Local Studies collection has been built up, initially with volunteer assistance from the Bassendean Historical Society and since 2000, with the services of a professional Librarian.

The Local Studies Collection has its own dedicated area which includes a research room for library patrons. The collection has been extensively developed, re-organised and catalogued since 2005 and this has led to greatly improved access to its resources. Content can be searched in the  Library Catalogue

History of West Guildford (later Bassendean)

One of the earliest areas of Perth to be settled, West Guildford (later 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.

Read more about the suburb's history here

Further Reading

Bassendean History Book

Two commissioned 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.

Jennie Carter was commissioned by the Town of Bassendean to write a Bassendean : A brief history

The Local Studies 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

Research Guides

Learn more about the Local Studies Collection with a short presentation here.

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.


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.

Residential History

Researching the history of your house is made easy with the free guide How To Trace the History of Your House by Carol Leigh

To help identify when your house was built and its type of architecture, a title can be purchased online from Landgate.

Other relevant information about your house and previous owners can be sourced from the Local Studies Collection including;

  • the West Guildford Rate Books
  • local history texts and Town publications
  • oral history audio interviews and transcripts,
  • war service records of soldiers,
  • family history details from biographical files
  • local pictures provided in the Library catalogue,
  • WA Post Office Directories provided by the WA State Library,
  • local newspapers online from Trove, courtesy of the National Library of Australia and
  • by checking the Town of Bassendean Local Heritage Survey (LHS) and previous Municipal Heritage Inventories.

Free use of the Library Edition of Ancestry.com provides access to online records of the WA Government Railway employees and Western Australia’s electoral rolls.

Putting together the information from various sources can give a history of your house, however incomplete.

As a home owner, you can also arrange to view house plans by contacting Planning Staff at the Town of Bassendean Customer Service

Oral History Collection

The oral history program records the memories and experiences of people who have lived, worked or played in Bassendean.

Current oral histories can be found on the Library Catalogue and are available as transcripts. Access to the oral history audio collection will also be available on the Bassendean Memorial Library website in the future, so that you can listen from the comfort of your home. 

Access contemporary Aboriginal oral history audio interviews with Sound Cloud here including Albert, Gwen and Vanessa Corunna, Nat Gillespie, Edward and Richard Wilkes, Bella and Herbert Bropho, Gina Williams and Allan Kickett.

The Oral History Program includes people from all backgrounds who have a connection to the Town of Bassendean. If you would like to share your story with us, or know someone whose story should be recorded, please contact the Local Studies Librarian.

1988 Australian Bicentennial Commemorative Plaques Heritage Trail

The 1988 Australian Bicentennial Commemorative Plaques Heritage Trail brochure- available to download or pick up a printed copy from the Bassendean Memorial Library.

This guide is for plaques located at Success Hill Reserve, along North Road, Bassendean Parade and West Road, dedicated to people who have shaped the Town of Bassendean. This brochure was produced as a Local Studies Collection Working Group project 2019.

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 and Bassendean Memorial Rose Garden.

A timeline of events about community contributions and the making of the Bassendean War Memorial can be found here

Local Soldiers Who Died in Service

Bassendean War Memorial Brochure

Free Community Guided Walks

Enjoy “strolling stories” with an experienced volunteer guide and learn about your local area- history, art, environment, architecture and more. Commencing at 10am to noon on the days and dates listed with varying starting locations. Walks are planned to continue in 2022.  Additional walks may be arranged for groups with prior notice by contacting the Local Studies Librarian.

Exploring Eden Hill Tuesday 9 November 2021

History Picture Jigsaws (Online)



View Kenny Street  (25 pieces)
This picture was taken from the Bassendean Fire Station tower looking south westerly.


Lockridge Hotel (25 pieces)

Built in 1896 on the corner of present River Road and Anzac Terrace, this state heritage listed site is a private residence and not open to the public.

Daylesford House (25 pieces)

Built in 1898 for Cyril Jackson, this state heritage listed  site is a private residence and not open to the public.

Whitfield Street (25 pieces)

Whitfield Street is named for Francis Whitfield, a resident magistrate of Guildford and later a farmer at York. This picture shows the street looking south and the police station on the left.

Tottie Everingham and milk cow  (10 pieces)
As a result of the  infectious disease Rinderpest c 1923-24 local cows and goats were killed and  dairies were decimated. Many community members photographed their beloved pets prior to their demise.

Old Perth Road  (16 pieces)
This picture shows the corner of Padbury’s Building and shops on Perth Road, prior to the extension of Guildford Road to the West Road intersection which was made in the mid 1970’s. This image is c1961.


Local Studies Links

Local and Libraries


Bassendean Historical Society Inc.

Bassendean Historical Society Inc.
Formed in 1991, the volunteer members of the Bassendean Historical Society provide access to the Pensioner Guard Cottage at 1 Surrey Street, Bassendean.

Rail Transport Museum WA

 The Railway Museum at Bassendean, Perth Western Australia is Western Australia's premier museum devoted to railway history and aims to tell the story of all railways across the state.

Western Australian State Library

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

Trove- National Library of Australia

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.

Post Office Directories

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

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.

Metropolitan Cemetery Board

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.


WA Pioneer Index BDM at Department of Attorney General website

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

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.







Royal WA Historical Society Inc.

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

State Records Office

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.

The State Records Office of WA has scanned local sewerage plans so you can explore the changed landscape of Perth through historical survey plans.




Retromaps are online plans used as part of the installation of a sewerage scheme throughout the Perth metropolitan area.


National Archives of Australia

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.


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.


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.

Department of Veterans Affairs Nominal Rolls

Nominal rolls list members of Australia's defence forces who served during World War Two, Korean War, Vietnam War and First Gulf War

Heritage Council

Heritage Council of WAThe 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.

Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is responsible for planning and managing land and heritage for WA.

Australia Dictionary of Biography Online

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.


Landgate is the statutory authority responsible for property and land information in Western Australia


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