Collection areas

The University of Melbourne Archives collection strengths include the history of the University of Melbourne, its administration, teaching, academics, and students and the personal papers of individuals prominent within the University, business and social movements. Other areas of collection strengths are Victorian and Australian businesses from colonial times into the times into the twenty-first century and social movements including labour, peace, Aboriginal Australian activism, the women’s movement and associated LGBTQIA movements.

Some collections may be restricted or contain sensitive material, this includes Care Leavers records, student cards, and internal University of Melbourne records. Access conditions are listed in the catalogue and more information can be found in the Access Management Framework.

  • Malcolm Fraser collection

    The Malcolm Fraser Collection at the University of Melbourne comprises documents, photographs, books and other material relating to the life, family and career of the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia from 1975 to 1983.

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  • Australian Red Cross collection

    The Records of the Australian Red Cross at the University of Melbourne include the National Office, and Australian Red Cross Society – Victorian Division.

    A total of 36 series comprising a variety of records including: reports, minutes, administrative correspondence, newsletters, posters, staffing, financial expenditure and photographs will be prized by social and historical researchers, as well as members of the community seeking family history or community group information. The collection is also used to support teaching and learning.

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  • Germaine Greer Archive

    The Germaine Greer Archive at the University of Melbourne comprises documents, photographs, books, magazines and born-digital audio, video and text media that document the life and career of Germaine Greer, a major figure in academic and popular culture in Australia and internationally.

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  • The University of Melbourne Council Minutes
    1853-1901

    The first 12 volumes of minutes are digitised and available online. Search 'UM174'

    1901-1993

    Please search the Archives main catalogue: 1994.0086, 2000.0124, 2015.0097, 2016.0104, 2018.0015 and order volumes to view in the Reading Room.

  • The University of Melbourne Registrar's Correspondence

    The registrar's correspondence represents a major proportion of the activities of the University's Central Administration over nearly a century dating 1871-1966. Records relate to subjects and services such as accommodation, accounts, University council, matriculation and arrangements for exams, schools, academic departments and curricula, regulations and statutes, and so on.

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  • Bright Family Papers

    Originally trading out of Bristol, the Bright and Meyler families activities subsequently expanded across the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. The Bright family were heavily involved in the trade of sugar between Jamaica and the United Kingdom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Their activities in this capacity included the purchase and management of sugar plantations and livestock pens, the shipment of cargo between Jamaica and Bristol, participation in the slave trade, including the purchase and shipment of slaves, and the establishment and running of stores trading in imported goods and purchasing sugar from local plantations. The family also had other commercial and industrial interests, including mining, banking, ship, railway and canal construction, and landed estates.

    In 1980, the Bright family donated the first of several batches of papers to the University of Melbourne Archives. The papers, with a full digital listing now available online, comprise more than 10,000 items. They include correspondence, accounts, inventories, maps, wills, and indentures, documenting 300 years of the Bright family’s public and private life. The earliest record, a will, was created in 1511. More recent material includes correspondence and family photos from the first half of the 20th century.

    The entire collection has been listed and digitised material is available online.

  • Strathfieldsaye Estate

    The University of Melbourne Archives' per-eminent Gippsland collection is the archive of the Strathfieldsaye Estate, the grazing property on Lake Wellington.

    Harold Clive Disher, who graduated M.B.B.S. in 1916 and M.D. in 1921, having been a student of Ormond College, left his property "Strathfieldsaye", Perry Bridge, Stratford, Victoria, to the University when he died in 1976. The "Strathfieldsaye Estate Bequest" included the land, buildings contents, plant, equipment, stock, cash and securities for the purpose of establishing "The Strathfieldsaye Institute of Teaching and Research in Agriculture and Allied Sciences". Archival records were transferred to the University of Melbourne Archives.

    This collection measures 17 metres of records and documents a century of pastoral settlement in Gippsland.

  • Victorian Women’s Liberation & Lesbian Feminist Archives (VWLLFA)

    The VWLLFA dates from 1982 when a women's liberation reading group was formed.  When the members realised that some of the papers, publications and memorabilia of the Women's Liberation Movement were already either hard to come by or destroyed, the group reformed as the Women’s Liberation Archives with the aim of preserving as much of the material of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Victoria as possible and to make it available for research and other purposes.

    In 2000, a new collective was formed and registered as the Victorian Women's Liberation and Lesbian Feminist Archives Inc. and began to transfer records to the University of Melbourne Archives.

    The VWLLFA contains over 140 collections from individual women and women’s organisations which are accessible through the University of Melbourne Archives catalogue.

  • Congress For International Co-operation And Disarmament

    Campaign for International Co-operation and Disarmament (CICD) was first established as the Congress for International Co-operation and Disarmament (CICD) in 1959. Founded by peace activists, unionists and church leaders the group advocated a holistic approach to peace and nuclear disarmament.

    Post its name change (c.1987), the organisation continued to actively campaign against uranium mining, the use and testing of nuclear weapons by the Soviets and the French, the placement of American military bases in the Pacific Region, the Gulf Wars, and refugee justice and for human rights.

    In 2009 it held its 50th Anniversary of active campaigning making it the longest serving peace organisation in Australia.

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  • Yuncken Freeman Architects Pty Ltd

    Yuncken Freeman Architects Pty Ltd (YFA) were an Architectural and planning practice established in Melbourne in 1933. The evolution of YFA largely reflects that of Australian architecture in the mid-to-late 20th century. During this time, Australian designers were experimenting with materials, form and space. They were inspired by the processes of the modernist movement but sought to add their own Australian touch and to bring modernism into the home and not restrict it to just the cultural avant-garde. Yuncken Freeman Architects wound up in 1992.

    A large number of architectural drawings and related documentation, including Sidney Myer Music Bowl, and photographs, both commercial and residential , are digitised and available online, search 'Yuncken Freeman'.

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  • Victorian Trades Hall Council

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    Executive minutes digitised and available online, search 'Victorian Trades Hall'

  • Ritchie Family

    Early nineteenth century Victorian grazier family.

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Reel Women Poster
Reel Women poster, Artist: Sue Ford, George Paton Gallery collection, University of Melbourne Archives, 1990.0144.00567. This image is in copyright. UMA has published a copy with the permission of the Sue Ford Archive. For information about ordering a copy or reproducing this image contact the University of Melbourne Archives: archives@archives.unimelb.edu.au