History

The University of Melbourne Archives was established in July 1960, to collect and preserve records relating to the University and to business and business people for the purposes of historical research. Today it is one of the largest non-government archives in Australia, with a collection of nearly 20km of records.

Our first collections came from the University of Melbourne and also Victorian businesses. The business collections include the records of wholesalers and retailers, factories and foundries, solicitors and architects, along with the records of some of Australia's largest mining companies.

From 1973 the Archives began to collect trade union and other labour history material; more than one hundred trade unions are now represented in the Archives' collections. During the same period, the Archives began also to collect records of professional, community, women's, peace and political organisations.

From the beginning, the Archives' primary role was to provide a rich source for research in Victorian and Australian history and the Archives' continues to welcome researchers, both academic and the public.

A more detailed history of UMA, including the role of founding University Archivist Frank Strahan, can be found under our 50th anniversary exhibition pages.

The University of Melbourne Archives is one of many Cultural Collections at the University of Melbourne.