BAPTIST HERITAGE QUEENSLAND National Guide to Australian Baptist Historical Resources & Services On-line Version (v3 10/16)





Archives of the Baptist Union of Western Australia Incorporated (Baptist Churches WA)


The Archives are incorporated in the library of Vose Seminary, and are administered by the Archivist.


Contact Person: 

 Grace Merrells, Archive Officer,

c/- Vose Seminary, 20 Hayman Road Bentley   WA   6102.   

Tel: (08) 6313 6200;  Fax:  (08) 6313 6299.



Grace Merrells, Archive Officer,

Opening Hours: By arrangement with the Archivist.


Publication:  There is no policy restricting publication, but acknowledgment is expected.



The ethos of the Society encourages freedom of information, subject to Clause 3.5.2 in the Rules of the Baptist Historical Society of  Western Australia.


Searching and Fees:  

In the case of persons or bodies not directly connected with  Baptist Churches of WA (including all family searches) the Archivist and the Society reserve the right to charge a search fee where an enquirer is not able or not willing to visit the Archives in person.  Searches conducted by the Archivist or officers of the Society which require more than 10 minutes may be charged at the rate determined by the Society from time to time.



The collection covers three main areas:


1.  The Baptist Union and its committees, societies and agencies:  Minutes, correspondence, handbooks, year books, periodicals, reports,  publications, manuscripts, etc.


2.  Baptist Churches and Fellowships affiliated with the Baptist Union of WA:. Minutes, correspondence, reports, publications, etc.


3.  Ministers and lay persons: Profiles, photographs, sermons, publications, etc.


Serials (select)

The Advocate 2001—

(Available online:

Annual Assembly Reports 

The Australian Baptist  [incomplete]

Baptist Union of WA Handbooks 

Churinga  [incomplete]

Contact  1961-2001

The West Australian Baptist News  [with variations in title] 1919-1953 [incomplete]

Westralian Baptist: occasional papers of the Baptist Historical Society of WA 



The Baptist Union of WA does not have a museum.  Collection policy in regard to artefacts is to discourage forwarding them to the Archives.  Any currently held are regarded as being on a temporary basis pending proper provision for their preservation and storage.

Finding Aids

All accessioned material is recorded in a computer database.

Unaccessioned material is roughly sorted in labelled boxes organized in the three areas mentioned under ‘Holdings’ above.



Storage facilities are modelled on those used at the State Archives.  Open Access shelving provides access to key resources.  The compactus shelving is locked, but items it contains may be made available by prior arrangement with the Archivist.  Any photocopying requires the Archivist’s permission and may only be undertaken by the Archivist or his/her representative.  Fragile materials may not be photocopied unless they have been encapsulated, and even then may have restrictions placed on them.  Where a transcript of fragile materials exists, this will normally be the form made available for photocopying.


II  Historical Society


The Baptist Historical Society of Western Australia 


Established 28th Nov 1985





Purposes of the Baptist Historical Society of Western Australia:

 To foster interest in the history of the Church, with particular reference to Baptists, especially those of Western Australia.

 To encourage the systematic recording and preservation of historical data relevant to the history of Baptist Churches and Baptist life in Western Australia.

 To facilitate the central collection of relevant materials.

 To foster historiography of the Baptists of Western Australia by encouraging the writing of local church histories and the production and presentation of papers and other publications.

 To allow access to the records and secondary materials in the society’s collection to:

    a)  Baptist Churches in the State of Western Australia and to bodies associated with them.

    b)  The wider community (where this is deemed appropriate by the officers of the Society or their representatives).


The Society is administered by an Executive consisting of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and up to three other officers appointed at an Annual General Meeting for a two-year term.  The Union Archivist is a member of the Society ex officio The Executive of the  Society normally meets monthly.


Public meetings (usually three per year) are held, at which papers are presented.  Normally, one paper pertains to Baptist life and witness outside Western Australia, the others to Western Australian Baptist history.  It is the normal practice to make papers available in published form in the series Westralian Baptist  [see below].

Membership: While a list is kept of regular supporters, involvement with ROCO precludes charging a membership fee.


Contact Person: 

The Secretary

The Baptist Historical Society of Western Australia

c/- Vose Seminary

20 Hayman Road

Bentley   WA   6102

Tel: (08) 6313 6200;  Fax:  (08) 6313 6299.




Major Publications

Moore, Richard K. (ed.) Baptists of Western Australia: the first ninety years (Perth: The Baptist Historical Society of  Western Australia, 1991).

Moore, Richard K. ‘All Western Australia is my parish’: a centenary history of the Baptist denomination in Western Australia 1895-1995 (Perth: The Baptist Historical Society of Western Australia, 1996).

Moore, Richard K. Noel Vose: Pastor, Principal, President.  A biography of Godfrey Noel Vose (Perth: The Baptist Historical Society of Western Australia, 2010).

Occasional Papers

Westralian Baptist:  Occasional Papers of the Baptist Historical Society of  Western Australia (see below for list of titles) Copies may be purchased from The Union Archivist, Vose Seminary, 20 Hayman Road, Bentley  WA  6102   Tel: (08) 6313 6200;  Fax:  (08) 6313 6299.

There is a charge of $5 per issue to cover the cost of production; postage is extra (currently $3 per copy within Australia).

Other publications

Gomm, Leslie J. Blazing the Western trails: the story of the life and work of William Kennedy, pathfinder, preacher and pioneer (1935; reissued Perth, by the Home Mission Committee of the Baptist Union of WA, 1991).

 Harding, Ann Out of the shadows: James H. Cole and the establishment of Baptist work in Western Australia (BAHons thesis, Murdoch Univ, 1994).


III  Other Relevant Bodies


J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, Alexander Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth WA 6000


Catalogue accessible on Web site:


Contains occasional papers of the Baptist Historical Society of WA, some local church histories (Baptist work in the Pilbara region, Katanning, North Perth, Perth, South Perth), and official publications, reports and yearbooks of the Baptist Union of WA, and,  Lofthouse, Samantha God’s way is not ours! a short history of the Reformed Baptist Church of Western Australia  c. 1989.



Contact  1975+

Home Mission Voice 1973-87

WA Baptist News (various names) 1902-1953.

Westralian Baptist volume 1.1 -20.1 (Papers delivered to the Baptist Historical Society of WA)


Back to main page