First opened in 2004, the history room is located in a corner of Goolwa Library and contains not only local history books but also a collection of newspaper articles; photographs; pamphlets and oral histories organised and indexed by volunteers. It is an excellent resource for local and family historians.
In particular the collection includes papers and photographs belonging to Walter Pretty, the Chief Valuer for SA and Valuer-General for the Northern Territory, the result of 30 years research. This was officially called the WA Pretty Collection during a 2010 History Week celebration. 40 Oral Histories have also been recorded and remain an ongoing project.
The books and documents are accessible from shelves around the room while the centrepiece is a large work table purchased with a donation from the Friends of Goolwa Library.
First created in 2007, there is also a Wiki designed to assist users with discovering what the History Rooms at Goolwa and Strathalbyn can offer as well as provide access to some electronic resources. It continues to be updated and can be found here. A History Room newsletter with recent news and information is also issued monthly.
The Goolwa Local and Family History Room was officially opened on 26 May 2004 by Deputy Mayor Anne Woolford with the assistance of the Friends of the Goolwa Library Chairman Barry Griffin, volunteer Dawn Juers and Library Manager Jill Patmore. The Local and Family History Room celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014 which included the publishing by Alexandrina Libraries a small booklet documenting its achievements over the last decade.