Donations & Purchases

The State Library collects published and unpublished (original) materials that are:

  • Created in Western Australia
  • About Western Australia, or
  • Created by a Western Australian, or someone with a significant connection to Western Australia

Some of the most valued items in the State Library’s collection have been acquired from members of the community.  If you have something that you would like to donate please complete the collection offers form or email the Collection Liaison Team.  After our assessment has been completed, we’ll let you know whether your offer has been accepted and discuss the next steps.  We recommend checking the Library’s catalogue first as we usually don’t accept material that’s already part of the collection.

Further information about donating specific types of material is outlined below.

Archival Materials

The State Library may accept donations of archival materials that relate to individuals and families, and organisations, clubs, associations, and businesses.  This could include:

  • Correspondence (letters, telegrams, emails etc.)
  • Diaries/Journals
  • Manuscripts
  • Notebooks (e.g. field books, jottings)
  • Postcards
  • Drawings (sketches, cartoons etc.)
  • Invitations
  • Legal papers
  • Awards (including degrees, certificates etc.)
  • Plans and maps
  • Career documentation (including curriculum vitae, résumés etc.)
  • Scrapbooks
  • Contracts
  • Reports

To assist us with assessment of your archival collection, please download and complete the appropriate form:

Photographs

The State Library collects documentary images depicting the social, political, economic and cultural history of Western Australia.  Images are selected to provide an understanding of, and support research into, the people, place, customs and traditions of WA.  The Library acquires both contemporary and historical images, such as photographic prints and negatives or slides.

Images will be considered on a wide range of topics, but we’re particularly interested in those that reflect:

  • Daily life in rural areas and regional viewpoints
  • Cultural diversity
  • Social change
  • Protests and demonstrations
  • Current events

One off donations of individual images as well as large collections of photographs may be accepted.  All offers will be assessed in accordance with the State Library’s Collection Development Framework.  

To assist us with assessment of your photographic collection, please download and complete the appropriate form:

If you are seeking remuneration, please contact the Collection Liaison team at the Library.  Material will only be purchased if it is a fair and reasonable market value and it meets our selection criteria.  

Film

The State Library collects moving pictorial images in any format that reflects life in WA including historical events, places, industry, social and cultural life and people. We collect key productions from the WA film industry, and we also collect private sector productions and amateur and home movie footage if they have significant Western Australian information content.

Oral Histories

The State Library collects and preserves the oral history of Western Australia in its oral history collection.  The collection consists primarily of sound recordings in both digital and analogue and may also include accompanying transcripts and images. These are structured interviews in which interviewees talk about their lives or particular events and experiences in the past.

To assist us with assessment of your oral history collection, please download and complete the appropriate form:

Ephemera

The State Library collects a representative sample of ephemeral items, which are the transient documents of everyday life such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, tickets and posters. These materials can often be discarded, but provide valuable insights into our way of life, and help to tell our stories in this moment in time for future generations.

Cultural Gifts Program

The Cultural Gifts Program encourages donations of culturally significant items from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives by offering donors the following tax incentives:

  • Deduction for the market value of gifts
  • Exemption from capital gains tax
  • Option to apportion the deduction over a period of five income years

Donations must be accompanied by at least two valuations of the current market value of the gift, provided by approved valuers. The cost of obtaining valuations specifically for this program can also be claimed as a tax related expense.

If you are considering making a donation under the Cultural Gifts Program please contact the Collection Liaison Team.

Last updated on: 15 April 2021