University Library

History of Collections

Further information


When the University of Western Australia was founded in 1913, the Library was allocated £2000 and held a few hundred books.

Today, the University holds more than 1,000,000 printed volumes and more than 230,000 non-book items. Electronic resources are growing rapidly with already 176,000 ebooks and more than 113,000 online serial titles.

It is one of the more significant research libraries in Australia, and its online catalogues further provide access to the holdings of other libraries.

In 1999, Dr Emma Hawkes from the Centre of West Australian History edited The History of the Collections of the UWA Library, 1913-1999.

While the emphasis of this work is on the history of the Library collection, the changing acquisitions policies and the sources of funding, this history is intertwined with broader themes such as the tenure of the head librarians, the erection of the libraries and the financial strategies of the University as a whole.