Local History

Learn about the fascinating history of The City of Kalamunda.

Find books, maps, photographs, oral histories, ephemera and local newspaper clippings which provide insight into the interesting and unique background of our City.

History Overview

Local History Collection

The City of Kalamunda Local History Collection was established in 1984 with the help of the Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society. A collection of historic records were established as useful for research purposes and general interest.

The Collection

The Local History Collection provides information about Kalamunda, Lesmurdie, Forrestfield, Wattle Grove, High Wycombe, Maida Vale, Pickering Brook and neighbouring suburbs and localities within the City of Kalamunda. This collection is housed at Kalamunda Library.

The collection is a valuable repository containing information on the development, society and culture of the City, including the people, places and events that have shaped the history of the region. Types of material include books, pamphlets, diaries, letters, local government archives, maps, photographs, oral histories, ephemera and local newspaper clippings of articles of a biographical nature and of relevance to the City of Kalamunda.

History of Our Libraries

The City of Kalamunda Library Service has provided more than 60 years of continuous library service. It has been a vital part of the community since it began in 1958, and its history illustrates how it has responded to the needs of local people.

On 3 October 1958 the district's first public library opened in a small transportable building at Recreation Reserve (now Kostera Oval). This consisted of two timber and fibro huts which were purchased from Allawah Grove a former migrant hostel in Guildford, to be used as temporary premises for a library.

  • 1963 - New Public Library at Kalamunda opened on Railway Road.
  • 1977 - ‘Friends of the Library’ and housebound delivery service established.
  • 1978 - Mobile Library service established.
  • 1980 - Forrestfield Library officially opened.
  • 1982 - Lesmurdie Community Library opened, first joint-use library to be built in Western Australia (WA).
  • 1984 - Local History Collection established.
  • 1987 - Major extensions to the Kalamunda Library.
  • 1988 - High Wycombe Library officially opened.
  • 1988 - Stained glass window completed and handed over to the Shire of Kalamunda.
  • 1991 - Automation arrived and the card catalogue departed.
  • 1997 - High Wycombe Library extended.
  • 2009 - Catalogue went online.
  • 2015 - Facebook Page launched.
  • 2017 - Kalamunda Library refurbished with self-check technology.
  • 2018 – Celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Library Services.

Picture Kalamunda

An online collection of historic images.

Photographs of local people, places and events viewable online.  The collection is incorporated in the City of Kalamunda Library Services Online Catalogue.  Select ‘Local History Collection’ in the Home search targets dropdown. Enter a search term or select SEARCH to explore the collection. 

Images of WA History

A collaborative project with the aim of highlighting local history collections.


Oral Histories are available thanks to the efforts of the Bill Shaw Oral History Group.

Contact Us

Enquiries should be directed to the Kalamunda Library front desk during Opening Hours. Alternatively, you can email us at libraries@kalamunda.wa.gov.au.

If extensive help is required to research the collection, please make an appointment with the Local History Librarian. 
Telephone: (08) 9257 9852

Follow us on the Kalamunda Libraries Facebook Page where ‘Wednesday Wonders’ images are selected from our Local History Collection and shared along with known details about the image. These weekly posts highlight our wonderful collection and stories of our area. Also featured on our Facebook Page is ‘Street Savvy Saturday’ in which we share the history of the districts’ street signs.

Useful sites for researching local and family history

WA Genealogical Society
Birtwistle Local Studies Collection
Heritage Council of WA
‘Foothills Connection’ Community Heritage Project
Pickering Brook Heritage Group
Royal Historical Society of WA
Australian Dictionary of Biography Online
Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society
The Western Australian Post Office Directories 1893-1949
Carnamah Historical Society & Museum
National Archives of Australia
© City of Kalamunda 2021