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 users. 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.

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.

Local Studies Collection

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.

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.

Historic Homes in Bassendean walk

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.

Historic Homes walk dates 2019

(Tuesday)       6 August
(Tuesday)       1 October
(Tuesday)       3 December

Historic Homes 2019

River Walk

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.  Walk at your own risk.

River walk dates 2019

(Tuesday)       4 June
(Thursday)      4 July
(Thursday)      5 September
(Thursday)      7 November

River Walk 2019

No booking required

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.

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