Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Family researchers ahoy!

Two new purchases in the Local Studies Collection feature:

Enga Smith: Filling in the Gaps (2010) and
Judy Mitchell: The First Hundred Years (2000)

Filling in the Gaps traces the family history of the Mills, Mountain and Maley families from the arrival of the author’s great, great grandparents Frederick and Fredericke Waldeck, who took up farming in Greenough Flats in the 1860s.

The First Hundred Years tells the story of the Mitchell family on Barnong Station as it had been recorded in the station diaries and documents from 1889-2000. The book also includes family trees.

The books are not available for loan, but can be viewed at the Heritage Services section at the Library.

Monday, 25 July 2011

National Family History week 29 July - 8 August

Check out the W.A. events for the National Family History week at:

Please also note that you can access  the large online family history database at the Geraldton Regional Library for free!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Searching for The Fringe Dwellers

Nene Gare’s (1919-1994) novel The Fringe Dwellers is out of print. The novel that discusses fictionalised interaction of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Geraldton is based on Nene Gare’s own experiences, and is so popular that it just flies off the shelf (sometimes never to return). If you have a spare copy lying around or know where we could purchase one, please let our staff know!

Microfilm scanner fixed!

The Heritage Services microfilm scanner is in working order again, thanks to Laurie and Stewart from Digital Microfilm Equipment in Perth. You can now scan and save microfilm views onto thumb drives again. All the other microfilm viewers received a good clean and polish as well.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Battery Recycling at the Library

It is now possible to recycle your old batteries instead of throwing them into your everyday rubbish bins. Just hand them over to a staff member at the front desk and we'll place them into a battery recycling bin at the back.

(note: not for car batteries!)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Save the date: Big Sky 2011

Planning for Big Sky readers and writers festival is well on the way, so mark the weekend of 9-11 September into your calendar and keep yourself updated at:


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New books to borrow

Please note two new purchases, which are going to be available in the Library’s floor collection in about a month’s time. If you are a member of the Library, feel free to place a reservation on either one to ensure you’ll get it as soon as it is about to hit the shelf!

How to write and publish your family story in 10 easy steps by Noeline Kyle.

“After thirty years of giving workshops, talks and seminars to family historians and genealogists Dr Noeline Kyle realised what was missing. What her audience is really crying out for is an easy-to-use reference book to show them how to write and publish their research. How to write and publish your family story in ten easy steps draws on Kyle’s extensive experience writing and publishing family history. It provides a template for family historians and genealogists who are ready to take the next step. The book guides them through the process with ten basic steps to help them shape the story, develop a narrative, establish their characters and write biographies, construct chapters, edit their text, use technology, and ultimately, publish and promote their book so it reaches the widest number of readers possible.” (blurb from New South Publishing website.)

A Pictorial Parade of Western Australia by Lou Macchia.

Lou Macchia has chosen a collection of out-of-copyright photographs by largely unknown photographers and images of Western Australia in his coffee table book published by Capital Production. Locations feature Perth, Fremantle, Goldfields and Wheatbelt from 1830s – 1930s. The book also includes pioneer portraits, newspaper ads and fashion shots. 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Picture Australia - one search, many places

National Library of Australia hosts Picture Australia, a fantastic online image search service. Through Picture Australia, you can access the image collections of hundreds of cultural agencies and individuals in Australia and overseas by just conducting one search on the website:

For example, just typing in ‘Geraldton’ and clicking the ‘search’ button brings you 977 images from different periods and collections. Aaron Bunch’s 1995 black and white images of Geraldton and WA are particularly beautiful.

Bunch, Aaron. Art Gallery, Chapman Road, Geraldton. 1995 [picture]
Art Gallery, Chapman Road, Geraldton by Aaron Bunch. Copyright: National Library of Australia. Permission for use of image here received from National Library of Australia.

You can also contribute: all you need is a Flickr account with your images. Guidelines can be found here:

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

WA receives World Heritage and National Heritage Listings in 2011

This year has seen some huge heritage listing successes in Western Australia: in June 2011 Ningaloo Coast joined Shark Bay (listed in 1991) in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, recognising its outstanding value to humanity. The decision was based on aesthetic and natural values as well as the biodiversity the coast supports.

Closer to home, Wilgie Mia, an Aboriginal ochre mine located NW of Cue, was listed on the National Heritage List in February 2011. The mine, which dates back at least centuries, has been consistently used by local Aboriginal people and is the oldest and deepest ochre mine in Australia. The superior quality ochre is still used in traditional ceremonies and art. The cultural importance of the ochre and the story associated with its creation to the Aboriginal people has been recognised in the National Heritage Listing, as well as the outstanding heritage value to the Australian community and nation as a whole.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Bike parking at the Library!

Why not ride your bike to the Library next time you intend to visit? We have recently got our new bike parking rails installed to keep your bike safe during your visit. There is nothing better that hopping on your bike and getting your circulation going again, after a few hours of historical research!

Also, the National Ride to Work Day is approaching. To participate, mark Wed 12th October into your calendars. You can register on their website at:

Monday, 4 July 2011

Oral History Mornings at Geraldton Regional Library

Oral history consists of spoken memories, stories, and songs, and the study of these, as a way of communicating and discovering information about the past.” (Definition from Collins English Dictionary.)

Whether we are talking about ‘official’, local or personal views on historical events, an element of interpretation is always present. The aim of oral history is to collect and preserve historical information obtained from individuals and groups. The more individual stories are collected, the more comprehensive view of the past can be constructed. Oral histories contain the personal views and opinions of the person sharing them with others. Each story is as valuable as the next, as each experience and interpretation adds to the understanding of life, society and the events of the time past.

The Local Studies Collection at Geraldton Regional Library holds over 300 oral history interviews collected since the 80’s. We are currently in the process of digitising and transcribing all the older interviews. The transcriptions and most of the tapes are available for loan.

The Library hosts a highly popular Oral History Morning every 3rd Wednesday of the month (February – November). A live interview, usually by Jim Trevaskis, takes place after a morning tea. It is a fantastic opportunity to come and learn about local history and characters, as well as to share stories and ask questions. If you would like to be notified of the Oral History Mornings, please contact the Library at 9956 6659 and register your residential or email address to the Oral History mailing list.

Jim Trevaskis in action during an Oral History Morning.
 Some of the Oral History Stories are available as audio files from the Geraldton Regional Library website through Overdrive. Just search for the ‘History’ and ‘Biography’ sections.

The next Oral History Morning on Wed 20th July, will be with Joe Greenland. Mr Greenland was born in London in 1930, and after 8 years in an orphanage he was sent to Western Australia along with 41 other boys. He spent a number of years at the agricultural school in Tardun and Pallotine Mission, where he learnt to bake bread. Later he worked as a baker at the Golden Crust Bakery in Geraldton. You are welcome to join us for morning tea and at 10am hear Mr Greenland’s fascinating story.