Daina Skele Collection

Skele Collection


WAM 23

Offline Only


A collection of personal material reflecting the life of Daina Skele (nee Dzintars) who fled Latvia during World War Two and emigrated to Western Australia with her family as 'Displaced Persons' after the war. It includes items of clothing, haberdashery, photographs, books and letters.

The Daina Skele collection reflects the life of a woman and her family who experienced the dislocation of World War Two in Europe, post-war migration and adapting to a new life in Western Australia from the 1940s to the 1970s. The items of clothing, haberdashery, books and letters were carefully selected over time, gathered and kept in a suitcase. Items include: family keepsakes from Latvia which were some of the only items Daina left with when she fled with her young son during the Russian takeover in 1945; Baby clothes hand made for her second child born in a Displaced Person's camp in Germany; Several items from two years the family spent in the Northam Camp after immigrating to Western Australia in 1949; Letters reflecting Daina's attempts to have her European qualifications recognised and to find work. The Skele family created a life in Western Australia, and the suitcase was kept as a 'memory box', full of things that had been brought from Latvia as well as items that had become part of their lives since.

Some material may be subject to copyright.

Available by appointment -

Collection is supported by extensive digital copies of family photographs from the 1930s-1960s, including Daina's own childhood.


Books; Costume; Displacement (Immigration); Families; Letters (Correspondence); Photography; World wars

Books; Clothing; Documents; Letters; Photography; Wars

Clothing; Clothing accessories; Documents; Headwear accessories; Photographs

Daina Skele (nee Dzintars); Western Australian Museum

Coverage Spatial

Western Australia; Northam; Latvia

Coverage Temporal



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