Thursday, 29 September 2011

Volunteers welcome

Are you interested in transcribing oral history or digitising photographs? Are you looking for something to do? Heritage Services are looking for reliable and computer literate volunteers who would like to spend some time working with the Local Studies Collection. It is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in local heritage, oral history, photography, archiving, collections and digital preservation. Young, old or in-between, please feel free to contact us at 9956 6659 or

Monday, 26 September 2011

Rare and valuable donation

I'm very excited after picking up a valuable donation from the State Library last week: Murchison Goldfields Supplement to Geraldton Express compiled by George Hope in 1897. The supplement is illustrated with many photographs and advertisements, and it contains a wealth of information on events, buildings, industries and personalities. The largest sections include: 'Geraldton - the gateway of the Murchison', 'Northampton', 'Cue', 'Cue Mines', 'Day Dawn', 'Peak Hills', 'Nannine', Mount Magnet', 'Yalgo', 'The Midland Railway', 'Perth' and 'Melville Water Park Estate'.

We are hoping to digitise and, perhaps, index the Supplement in due course to make it easily accessible for everyone. Unfortunately, and understandably, the original copy is in quite a fragile condition and will be held in our rare books section.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Useful Family History links

SLWA's Steve Howell compiled Dead Reckoning: how to find your way through the genealogical jungle of Western Australia in 1997. The book has since been revised and is now published and available online at:

SLWA's Family History page ( is full of information and tips for family researchers. Leonie Hayes and Tricia Fairweather have also compiled an impressive list of links to worldwide resources on family research subjects at:

Monday, 19 September 2011

Wednesday's oral history morning: Bob Cornell

Please join us to hear Bob Cornell's story on Wed 21 September at 10am. The interview will be held at the Heritage Services section of the Library.

Bob Cornell is very much a man of the Northern Wheatbelt. He grew up on the family farm at Ajana. After service in World War II he established his own farm at East Binnu. Bob is a real community man and has made an outstanding contribution to local organisations. In the interview he also talks of the huge problems caused by the annual incursions of emus.

Morning tea will be provided by the Library.

Final Merry-go-round workshop on Thursday

This final workshop will allow the community to review a draft precinct plan prepared by the landscape architect, and confirm that the plan accurately reflects their vision for the precinct. Please RSVP by 20 September to

Remember Endeavour

HMB Endeavour will be in the Fishing Boat Harbour 30 September - 4 October. You can visit the vessel and experience how James Cook and his men lived on board during their 18th century voyage. The ship is open to the public from 10am - 5pm and the tickets cost $18/adult and $9/child, concession. Family tickets are also available.

More info at:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

It's all in TROVE

National Library's Trove is an amazing database containing a huge amount of information on social sciences, literature, and local or family history, plus more. Family and local historians, librarians and students are sure to find it useful in their search of materials.

Trove logo large

Trove was designed to:
  • provide a single point of access to the resources of the deep web
  • facilitate access to a significantly greater range of resources from major sources, including selected digitised material freely available online
  • support searching of, and access to, full-text content
  • enhance ease of discovery by providing improved relevance ranking, refinement by facets, grouping of all editions of the same book (this is known as FRBR-like grouping) and exploitation of thesauri
  • engage with communities and individuals through annotation services
  • ensure that relevant information is not missed in a search by reducing the need to search material-specific discovery services separately
  • provide a platform for niche services to query a vast resource of Australian metadata and adapt if for their own needs.
You can search for books, manuscripts, maps, journals, articles, music, sound and video - and my particular favourite - digitised newspapers. A lot of the old local papers for Geraldton region are now being digitised and you  can find more and more online. The word searches use a word recognition program, so they are dependent on the original condition of the newspaper and the text. It is possible for the users to correct incorrectly interpreted words to make the searches more efficient.

Have a go and learn more at:

New selected Stow poems out in November

"Randolph Stow's slim body of poetry weighs more than most oeuvres many times its size. It has few equals anywhere in the world. Groundbreaking, historic and essential, it is haunting, lyrical, mythical, spiritual and anchored in place." says John Kinsella, editor of The Land's Meaning -  selected poems by Randolph Stow, out in November this year.

You can pre-order a copy, plus get a chance to win a copy of all Fremantle Press 2011 poetry publications at:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Goodbye Big Sky 2011!

Big Sky 2011 was a great success - hardly a surprise! The weekend was extremely busy for the Library staff, but at the same time it was incredibly rewarding. Thank you for everyone who participated in the festival. Any feedback is warmly welcomed and will be taken into consideration when organising next year's event.

P.S. Those who participated in the Poetry Scrabble in Walkaway: I am holding on to the poems in case you'd like to keep them. Just come and see me at the Library.
Goodbye Big Sky! See you again in 2012!