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Perth DPS Book Indexes

Western Australian Histories & Biographies
For Genealogists and Family Historians

FEEDBACK - what the people say  
PROJECT - history, goals and contributors  
TITLES - abstracts of useful Western Australian local history books  
AUTHORS - useful Western Australian local histories
ON-LINE INDEXES - compiled for Western Australian local histories
LIBRARIES & PUBLISHERS - information and contact details
GUIDELINES - suggestions for indexers


March 2000, pp. 21 & 23.

The Perth DPS has commenced a very interesting - and helpful - indexing project especially for anyone whose research starts in or leads them to WA.

AFTC heartily congratulates everyone involved in the indexing project and applauds them for their "can do" attitude. If you have a relevant book that you would like to see included in the index, please contact the Perth DPS as soon as possible.

In fact, have you thought about joining a Dead Persons Society? The benefits are numerous - demonstrations of new programs, help with hardware and software, access to 'how to' research advice being just a few . . .

Perth Dead Persons' Society is Alive & Well
. . . and indexing books.

The fast growing membership of the Perth Dead Persons' Society (DPS) has begun broadening its computer and on-line focus with a long term book-indexing project.

Perth DPS was originally formed by a group of Western Australian family researchers who communicated on the FidoNet Bulletin Board service known as the Dark Closet, which unfortunately had to close down in late January 1998. Murdoch University's Teaching and Learning Centre came to the rescue and offered to host a Web Site and a Mailing List (DPS-Chat). One of the aims of the Society is to promote the production and distribution of genealogical indexes and other research tools.

DPS members readily admit that their family history and genealogical research has been boosted enormously with access to the Internet. But despite the fast-find solutions offered on-line, there is a wealth of biographical and historical information to be found in books, and much of it is untapped because of the lack of indexes and bibliographies. The book-indexing project is a combined effort of DPS members aimed at filling some of the void.

The Society is limiting the project to WA biographies and histories of interest to genealogists and family historians. A list of titles is being compiled, including details of the author and publisher, a brief abstract and an indication of whether or not an index is included. Contributions from non-members are welcome. Guidelines are available for those who participate in the project to assist with uniformity. Some indexes have already been completed and can be viewed on the DPS Web Site. Eventually it is hoped that a master index can be created and made available on-line.

The project has attracted the interest and enthusiastic support of local publisher and historian Peter Bridge of Hesperian Press, who has helped by supplying copies of books for indexing purposes. While still in the early stages of development, the project promises to culminate in a unique and valuable resource for researchers with Western Australian interests.

The on-line resources available on the Perth DPS Web Site are being constantly added to and also include:

  • An excellent guide to Convict Research
  • Shipping pages with links to passenger lists, many of which have been transcribed by DPS members.
  • A Pioneers index which lists details of the earliest arrivals and births in WA and other States of Australia of the families DPS Members are researching.
  • Historic Australian Cemeteries, the handiwork of DPS Webmaster Rob Nelson, a guide to conservation and research, and including a burial register for the East Perth Cemetery.
  • Military pages with details of the departure of troops to the Boer War.

Christine Uphill - Perth DPS Book Indexing Co-ordinator
Rob Nelson - Perth DPS Webmaster & dps-chat mail-list Moderator




Books can often supply much needed details and clues about our ancestors. They can also add important 'colour' to family histories. Unfortunately, many family historians are missing out on a wealth of untapped information which is hidden in Western Australian local histories and biographies.

Shyama Peebles resurrected this long-standing problem on the dps-chat mailing list when she pointed out how many publications - especially the older ones - lacked an index and how difficult it was to locate valuable information.

Fortunately, many Perth DPS members have seen the light and after helping Shyama index the books in her library, have begun to index their own books as well.

As a result, indexing projects for various publications are now underway and we are doing our best to let everyone benefit from our collective efforts.


Help us to compile a list of books about Western Australia and Western Australians. What we need is a list of the Western Australian titles which have been useful in your family history research ...

Send us a list of the titles that have helped you !

Send - Title, Author or Editor, Publisher and Year, a brief abstract (key-words should include main locations and/or families), ISBN number if possible, and an indication as to whether the book includes an index.

E-mail your information to Christine Uphill.
Or why not post a favourite title NOW by
filling out our customised submission form?


If you own a copy of a book (or can obtain one from your local library) that lacks an index, consider contributing to the project by offering to compile an index. Guidelines for standardised indexes are now on-line.

Contact Christine Uphill and register your interest now !

It would be sad if an index was already underway!


  • Our growing book list has been sorted according to title, and gives a brief abstract and publishing details of each work.

    More importantly, it also notes if the books are indexed and where the indexes can be found.

    REMEMBER that our book list is being up-dated regularly, so be sure to come back often!.

  • At the moment, authors and subjects can be located by using your browser's "edit" & "find in page" commands and trying logical variations of words which relate to your area of interest.

  • A specially sorted list is now in place to highlight the numerous titles published by many of the authors in the main index. It has been sorted on the authors' surnames.

  • As our various book indexing projects are completed, the finished indexes have been put on-line and a special 'index of the indexes' has been provided as well.

  • A series of indexing guidelines and helpful suggestions have been set out for those considering an indexing project. Unfortunately, like the varied nature of each of the books we process, our indexes each take on their own individual form. With that in mind, don't be surprised if the guidelines and suggestions get amended from time to time.



Nov 1, 2001