Western Australia's first historical encyclopedia for more than 100 years will be launched tomorrow by Premier Colin Barnett at The University of Western Australia.
With more than 1,000 pages, boasting more than 900 entries and spanning Indigenous pre-history to the 2006 Census, the Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia, published by UWA Publishing, provides an impressive record of the State's history.
It is the first such encyclopedia since that compiled by librarian and former UWA Chancellor James Sykes Battye at the beginning of last century. More than 600 people were involved either as contributors or expert referees, and every region of the State is mentioned.
UWA's Professor Jenny Gregory, Encyclopaedia Editor-in-Chief, said the project had been enthusiastically embraced throughout the community over the past six years.
The work was undertaken through the UWA Centre for Western Australian History, under the directorship of Dr Jean Chetkovich. "Since its inception in 1985, the Centre has been a focal point of history scholarship on this State. Its success over more than two decades was one of the reasons why so many people were keen to contribute," Professor Gregory said.
Professor Gregory, who worked on the project with Dr Jan Gothard, General Editor of the Encyclopedia, said the project could not have got off the ground without significant funding from the Australian Research Council and the Government of Western Australia.
"Others involved in the project included staff from all universities in the state; the JS Battye Library of Western Australian History; the State Records Office of WA; the Western Australian Museum; the National Archives; the National Trust (WA); the Heritage Council of WA; West Australian Newspapers; the WA Department of Indigenous Affairs; and Lotterywest," Professor Gregory said.
"Through Lotterywest funding, copies of the Encyclopedia will be made available to public libraries and to Indigenous organisations, ensuring that as many people as possible will be able to have access to it."
WHEN: Wednesday June 24, 2009, at 6.00pm
WHERE: Undercroft of Winthrop Hall, UWA, Crawley
Parking available in car park 1