WABI - The Western Australian Biographical Index has recently been transcribed and made available on the website of the State Library of Western Australia by the SLWA under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License. This license permits WAGS to make the material available on our website in an interactive, searchable data table (below) with direct links to the original cards on the SLWA website.
Clicking on the WABI card number in the table will open the original index cards in a new page/tab (via links to SLWA website). Please also read the notes below the table which are a direct quote from the State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) website about the WABI material becoming available. There is 85,403 entries in the table.
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
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.