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Western Australian Biographical Index (WABI)

The Western Australian Biographical Index (WABI) is a highly used resource at the State Library of Western Australia. A recent generous contribution by the Friends of Battye Library (FOBS) has enabled SLWA to have the original handwritten index cards scanned and later transcribed.

The transcription was crowd-sourced and we are aware that there are some data quality issues including:

  • Some cards are missing
  • Transcripts are crowdsourced so may contain spelling errors and possibly missing information
  • Some cards are crossed out. Some of these are included in the collection and some are not
  • Some of the cards contain relevant information on the back (usually children of the person mentioned). This info should be on the next consecutive card
  • As the information is an index, collected in the 1970s from print material, it is incomplete. It is also unreferenced.

It is still a very valuable dataset as it contains a wealth of information about early settlers in Western Australia. It is of particular interest to genealogists and historians

The dataset contains: several csv files with data describing card number, card text and url link to image of the original handwritten card.

Work began on WABI in the early 1970s when information was sought on people who lived in Western Australian prior to 1914. Publicity was sent out through local libraries, historical groups and in publication such as the West Australian. Western Australians were asked to provide genealogical information, not only on prominent identities, but also from their family records including the arrival in Western Australia, occupations, dates of birth, marriages and deaths of their ancestors. Historical material such as diaries, letters, business records, minute books, maps, family trees and photographs, were also sought for copying. Entries for the index closed in December 1979, and were filed at the Battye Library for reference.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Western Australian Biographical Index (WABI)
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia
Data Status active
Update Frequency infrequently
Landing Page http://data.gov.au/dataset/1ff394c7-3e70-45d9-b310-2c6c429623dd
Date Published 2016-07-28
Date Updated 2016-07-29
Contact Point
State Library of Western Australia
08 9427 3430
dataanddiscovery@slwa.wa.gov.au
Temporal Coverage 1888-01-01 - 1914-12-31
Geospatial Coverage WA100146691: Western Australia
Jurisdiction Western Australian Government
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency State Library of Western Australia
Fields of Research Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Australian History excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
Geospatial Topics Society
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