Storylines logo
Storylines is a new system being piloted at the State Library of Western Australia to create a central access point for our digitised heritage collections relating to Aboriginal history in Western Australia.

Members of the public can view, print and engage with hundreds of photographs of Western Australian Aboriginal people and places online at


Storylines will assist us in the digital return of photos and other materials directly to Aboriginal families, communities and people, and help us to identify many of the photographs in the J.S. Battye Collection which are currently unidentified and unknown.

The Ara Irititja software which the system is based on allows objects, people, places, stories, plant, animals and technology to be tagged and linked within the system to create vast knowledge profiles which reflect the many languages, stories and perspectives of Aboriginal Western Australia. Storylines is uniquely capable of adhering to cultural protocols, and supports media types including video and audio.

It is envisaged that Storylines will become a central point for Aboriginal people who wish to access the State Library of Western Australia's extensive heritage collections, and a safe place to store records of people, place and history. Material which is identified as sensitive, secret or sacred is able to be restricted or removed in a flexible and responsive way.

As part of this project the State Library of Western Australia will be working with several remote communities to set up community-controlled databases which complement the Storylines system but will restrict access to material deemed secret, sensitive or sacred by the community. These instances will be run by the community according to their own needs and protocols.

Where is Storylines?

Storylines is an online portal which is hosted by the State Library in Perth, Western Australia which will allow users from all around the state, country and world to engage with Aboriginal stories, language, perspectives and history.

Storylines is managed and hosted by the State Library of Western Australia, with advice and guidance provided by an Aboriginal Reference Group in tandem with ongoing State-wide consultation.

 Mary Bear using the Storylines website

How can I be involved?

We will be running a number of sessions with people and organisations to identify aspects of these collections as the project moves forward, and information about these events will be made available on the State Library events page.

If you are interested in discussing the possibility of including your photographs, images, movies or music in the database please contact the project team.

Accessing the Storylines system:

Storylines is a pilot project and access to the system is currently limited. The project team is working directly with community members to identify people, places and stories in the photographs and other materials during information sessions held here at the State Library

Guest access is enabled allowing you to view and print many of the photographs in the system. You can access Storylines at

For more information on the project please contact the project team. 
General enquiries can be sent to

Project Manager: Susanna Iuliano, Battye Historian

Project Coordinator: Damien Webb, Community Liaison (Indigenous Engagement)

Technical Systems Coordinator: John Geijsman, Library Technician

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Page last updated: Thursday 2 October 2014

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