May 2014 - December 2017
The Fremantle History Centre was closed by the City of Fremantle in December 2017 when the building in which it was housed, the admin building next to the Town Hall, was set for demolition. One of the two staff members was sacked with a few weeks notice. Previously known as the Local History Collection of the Fremantle Library, the FHC had its own dedicated space in a purpose-built extension at the eastern end of the main library, with a staff of two, reception desk, book stacks - some open and some locked, a map collection, and compactor stacks for collections of research materials such as rate books etc., and more. The most precious item for this writer was the very large collection of images, mainly photographs. These were, and perhaps still are, in the process of being scanned and made available on the library's website.
The items that were in the History Centre are presumably stored somewhere, most likely in the former Dockers building at Fremantle Oval, where the Council is temporarily housed, but they are no longer visible. Nor is the one remaining specialist staff member visible. Punters have to apply to the staff at the front desk about local history, to which they may then presumably be given access if the request is understood and can be satisfied by non-specialist staff.
The FHC is the most important organisation as far as this site, per se, is concerned. Scores, maybe hundreds of its pages, refer specifically to the Fremantle History Centre. That has now become inaccurate, and I should remove them all, tho I suppose I might wait until I come to know what will be the correct form of reference in the future - if the FHC has one.
Most of the hundreds of images on this site are attributed to the Fremantle History Centre. All of those hundreds of images have links which used to go to the images in the Library's collection. I thought I was acting ethically in not only acknowledging the source, but also encouraging my visitors to go the Library site.
Those links depended on the City maintaining its subscription to a content management systems company, which, in the FHC case, had an index page starting with "cdm", which I'm guessing stands for Communications Design & Management.
Now that the City is using a new system (Spydus, from CMI), none of those links works any longer. This is very disappointing and frustrating. The City, as the administrator of such a significant library, should strive to maintain access to all its information and resources in as long-term a form as possible. I am now engaged in removing all the links. ... I may be some time.
I assume this was yet another cost-cutting measure, like the sacking of half of the staff of the former Centre, and the complete disappearance of the collection from the public space of the Library ... which is now situated at Fremantle Oval while an unnecessary new admin building is constructed.
See also: Fremantle Library
Garry Gillard | New: 20 January, 2018 | Now: 17 February, 2018