GEM OF TIME RECIPIENT – DAVID WHITEFORD 2017
David has more than forty years experience as a dedicated custodian of Western Australia’s important published and archival heritage. His knowledge of the collections of both the J S Battye Library of West Australian History and the State Records Office is unparalleled.
David began work at the State Library in 1975 as a cadet directly from high school and worked in various sections of the Library for more than a year. During 1976-1978, he completed his degree at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT, now Curtin University), while working at the State Library during his holidays.
David joined the Battye Library on 3 January 1979, and worked chiefly with maps, monographs, serials, archives and private archives, becoming senior librarian and manager of the Battye and State Reference Libraries’ map collections. He took on the responsibility of Senior Librarian for the Published Materials team in 1997 and in 2002 became Senior Archivist.
After the restructure of the State Library in 2006, David was made Team Leader Archives. During his time in this role, he was seconded to the State Government’s Redress agency as Chief Researcher. David left the State Library in 2012 to join the State Records Office as Senior Archivist until late 2016. He then took up a role in the newly constructed Perth Public Library.
Apart from David’s extraordinary knowledge of the Battye Library’s collection, he is an authority on all things to do with trains and railways and WA maps. He was lead researcher and coordinator of a team of volunteers responsible for the compilation of the WA map bibliography, Perth and districts which was published by the Friends of Battye Library in 2002.
David is outstanding in his ability to patiently help researchers, drawing on his knowledge of Western Australian heritage collections and research techniques. He is generous with his time and expertise and has been an enormous support to his colleagues at the Battye Library and the State Archives. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and the speed with which anything was done was amazing. He joined the Friends of Battye Library very early in its history, has served on the committee, and has always been a loyal friend to all who know him.
The Friends of the Battye Library (Inc.) would like to add to David’s many achievements and show our appreciation by listing him as a “Gem of Time” – a list that will last to acknowledge the contribution of outstanding men and women to the recording, collection, and preservation of Western Australia’s history.