Joondalup Library – local history collection

Local history is a dedicated collection located on the lower ground floor of the Joondalup Library. Local history collects, preserves and celebrates the Joondalup region’s rich local heritage. It contains a variety of resources on the history, development, environment and culture of the Joondalup and Wanneroo area, and provides researchers with a picture of life in the region from Aboriginal times to the present day.

If you would like to consider donating items to the local history collection, please see the article on Local history donations.

For information about resources for teachers and visits by school groups view Local history for schools.

Help update local history records

Joondalup Library’s local history collection is a treasure trove of information about the early settlement of the City of Joondalup and Wanneroo areas. The local history team collects, preserves and celebrates the rich heritage of the area, and it’s always exciting when new historical details come to light.

Recently, the Lockwood family approached the City of Joondalup, detailing their family’s historical connection to the land around Lake Goolellal. The family operated a piggery from 1940 – 1969. The local history team have had the opportunity to add valuable documents, photos and the opportunity to record an oral history with John Lockwood.

Does your family have links to the early settlement of Joondalup, especially prior to 1950? The local history team would love to hear from you, please email or call 9400 4746.

Local history resources

  • Books, reports and unpublished theses
  • Oral histories
  • Maps
  • Ephemera and school memorabilia
  • Annual reports
  • Council documents and minutes
  • Community News articles
  • Stories and suburb history.

Oral history – expression of interest

Complete this form to express your interest in participating in the Oral History program.

Oral history interviews are conducted by trained interviewers who will ask questions about significant events and experiences. The resulting interview will be recorded to CD and added to the oral history collection which is available to the general public.

  • Address

Oral history

City of Joondalup Libraries aim to collect and conserve the spoken histories of people associated with the Joondalup region through work, family or social/club activities. The City’s Oral History collection consists of nearly 700 interviews with local residents who have shared their recollections of events that form the history and development of the local area. The collection focuses on pioneering families, the development of suburbs, school days, military experiences and the social, sport and entertainment activities of the past.


The collection is available for loan on CD from the Local History Library at Joondalup. Further details about individual oral histories can be found on the library catalogue, which includes full transcripts of some interviews. Many of the oral histories also have related photos.

Contribute to the collection

If you grew up in the City of Joondalup and/or the City of Wanneroo area, and have memories that you would like to share, please complete the Oral History project expression of interest online form or contact Local History. If you have memorabilia and photos and wish to donate them to the City please get in contact with your local City of Joondalup Library.

Register your expression of interest


Local history for schools

Resources in the library

Local History, located on the lower ground floor at Joondalup Library, has a range of resources including photographs, oral history interviews, newspapers and other material documenting how the local area has changed over time, suitable for use by teachers to support the HASS curriculum.

Resources to borrow

Using their school’s Institutional Bulk Loan Membership, teachers can borrow the Investigating Joondalup’s Past School Resources Kits. Each kit contains:

  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Oral history excerpts
  • Stories from the Suburbs booklets which document the history of each suburb.

To assist teachers with meeting outcomes in the primary history curriculum the Local History staff have developed the resource My Learning Journal which is available for loan on USB. This is relevant for years two to five, and topics covered include:

  • Who lived here first and how do we know?
  • How has the community changed?
  • Which environmental features have been lost and which have been retained?
  • What contribution has been made by different groups and individuals in the community?
  • How and why do people choose to remember significant events of the past?

School tours and activities

School groups are welcome to participate in curriculum-linked activities as part of a Civic Centre and Library tour. Teachers and home-schoolers are welcome to contact Reference and Local History staff to organise library visits for students wishing to undertake research.

Year 12 ATAR Geography students can access resources and information supporting a Unit 3 case study focussing on the Ocean Reef Marina site and adjacent coastal areas.

Local History donations

Donations of items that relate to the history and development of the people, organisations and suburbs of the Joondalup area are a welcome addition to the Local History Collection.

We are interested in collecting:

  • Photographs
  • Negatives
  • Film or video footage
  • Diaries
  • Letters
  • Postcards
  • Pamphlets
  • Yearbooks
  • Newsletters
  • Reports
  • Memorabilia
  • Records from community organisations

If your items meet the above criteria, you will need to print out and complete the donation form. If you wish to retain the originals or photos or documents staff can scan the items and return them to you.

Family and Local History events

Local History hosts events during the year to help customers understand and improve their family history research skills:

Genie Exchange

Experienced volunteers provide research support and advice to participants seeking assistance to develop their family history.

Sessions are held at:

  • Joondalup Library, Local History – Fridays, 9.30am – 12.00noon
  • Woodvale Library – Tuesdays, 9.30am – 12.30pm.

Events relating to family history research, the use of DNA in genealogy and local history may be programmed throughout the year. To keep up to date with Local and Family History events:

Family history research

Family history and genealogy research

The Reference and Local History team are available to assist you with your family history research.

A variety of resources are available from the Libraries to aid your genealogy search:

  • Findmypast
  • books
  • magazines
  • shipping records
  • oral histories
  • research templates
  • family tree templates
  • a large selection of records on microfiche and online

Selected items are available for loan. Check the library catalogue for details or ask a staff member.

City of Joondalup genealogy publications

  • Family and Local History Newsletter is a quarterly publication produced by Local History. The newsletter containing tips, hints and feature articles.
  • Picture our Past is a pictorial history of the Joondalup region, contact your local library to view or purchase a copy.

Family and Local History Events

View details of Family History Events, including the twice weekly volunteer-led Genie Exchange.

Family and local history newsletter

Local History publishes a quarterly Family and Local History newsletter filled with informative articles about the local area, and information, tips and hints to help with your family history research.

Printed copies of the latest edition can be picked up from any City of Joondalup Library and the publication is advertised in the Libraries’ Newsletter.








History of Joondalup


Saluting their Service

Saluting their Service: stories from past to present highlights the military experiences of members of the region’s community and is intended to enrich our knowledge and understanding of the effects of war on individuals, families and communities. The stories were compiled from the Local History Library’s collection of photographs, mementos and oral history interviews, through research undertaken by the Library’s staff and from interviews with and donations from community members who have served more recently.

This book has been made possible through funding from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs under the Commonwealth Government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program. The support and assistance of the Joondalup City RSL is gratefully acknowledged.

Limited quantities of the publication are available from the Reference and Local History Library and a link to an eBook version will soon be available from this webpage, ensuring its accessibility from anywhere in the world.

Picture our Past

Picture our Past: Celebrating Joondalup’s Past Together is a City of Joondalup publication telling the story of how an isolated settlement became the modern day Cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo.

Containing historical photographs from the Picture Joondalup collection, interviews with local residents, maps, newspaper articles, images of collectibles and memorabilia from the City’s Local History Library, “Picture our Past” captures the stories of the people who came here from around the world to make their homes and community.

Picture our Past is available for purchase from the City’s Libraries and Customer Service Centre for $35.00

Joondalup’s history up in lights

Everyone who lives in or has visited this great region and coastline has a story to tell.

For Kaleidoscope 2018, Joondalup Libraries engaged local artist Roly Skender to work with the local history team to create a visual history of the region. The outcome, Joondalup – a Pictorial History, integrated local resident and pioneer stories, reflections and photographs from the Joondalup Libraries pictorial and oral history collections.

Joondalup – A Pictorial History has now been uploaded to the City’s Youtube channel for all to watch, reflect and enjoy.