Gold and Ghosts – book review

Gold and Ghosts Vol 1 and Vol 2 – by D W de Havelland

Many of you, I am sure, will have heard of the series of books called ‘Gold and Ghosts’! There are four volumes in the series and many consider them to be the ‘Prospectors Bible”. It is Vol 1 and Vol 2 that deal with Western Australia. (Vol 3-4 are for Queensland).

A brief description of the books is:-

A Prospectors guide to metal detecting and history on the Australian Goldfields.

However, if you have looked through the books, you will find a real treasure trove of information on both the people and the places of the Goldfields of Western Australia. It is full of mapS and stories about the early prospectors and miners and of the many characters that about in the Goldfields. It also gives detailed descriptions of the exact location of the leases in the mining areas plus how much gold has been found there and if you can still prospect. Also, there are many wonderful photographs throughout the books.

Annesfield Prospecting Co Ltd

Annesfield Prospecting Co Ltd

Sample Map

There is however a drawback before you rush out to get a copy of any of the volumes. It has been out of print for some time now. Published in 1985 but I think it has been OOP for about 15yrs. The books are very hard to come by and if they do come up for sale they are usually about $500 a copy and up to $3000 for a full set.

In saying this, there are quite a few copies in the public library system (including Kalgoorlie) and I am sure you would be able to get a copy sent to your local library to view. I dont think they would allow them to be borrowed unfortunately.

Even so, I would recommend them highly for anyone who has ancestors who were into mining or prospecting to have a look at these two volumes.  I consult them all the time. Although there is some crossover these are the Goldfields that are in each volume:-

Central Goldfields of Western Australia from the Dept of Mines Annual Report.

Vol 1: (Black Cover)
Kimberly GF, West Kimberly GF, West Pilbara GF, Pilbara GF, Ashburton GF, Gargoyne GF, Peak Hill GF, Yalgoo GF, Murchison GF, East Murchison GF, Mount Margaret GF, North Coolgardie GF, Yilgarn GF, Coolgardie GF, East Coolgardie GF, North East Coolgardie GF, Dundas GF, Phillips River GF

Gold and Ghosts Vol 1

Gold and Ghosts Vol 1

Vol 2: (Blue Cover)
Murchison GF, Kimberly GF, Ashburton GF, Gascoyne GF, East Murchison GF, Mount Margaret GF, North Coolgardie GF, Yilgarn GF, Broad Arrow GF, East Coolgardie GF, North East Coolgardie GF, Dundas GF.

Gold and Ghosts Vol 2

Gold and Ghosts Vol 2

I own a copy of Vol 1 and Vol 2 and I am happy to answer any questions on them and do any lookups for those who cannot access a copy.

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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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