The University of Melbourne Archives (UMA) is one of Australia’s largest non-government archival collections. UMA was established in July 1960  to collect and preserve records relating to the University and businesses for the purposes of historical research. The University’s own records date from its foundation in 1853 and as well as administrative records, records of student societies and the personal papers of many former academic staff are available for research.

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 broadened it’s collecting scope to include 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.

Records are collected to be used and the highest priority of UMA is making its collections available for research. Whether interested in the history of the University, or architecture, manufacturing, commerce, economics, trade unionism, engineering, art, theatre, mining, science, politics, the professions, biography, education, law, the women’s movement, pacifism or war, researchers will find major resources in the Archives’ collections.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a platform to share stories from our collections. In doing so, we seek to highlight the enormous scope of endeavor covered in our collections. If you would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us at archives[at]archives.unimelb.edu.au.


  1. Charles Bright · · Reply

    We would like to subscribe to updates on your blog.

    Thank you.

    1. We’re glad you’re interested! On the right-hand side of the homepage of the blog there is a link that says “entries RSS”. If you click on that link you will be given the options to subscribe to the RSS feed (for blog updates) in the program of your choice (eg email, subscription sites and so on).

  2. Maire Mannik · · Reply

    I have some photos I took of the Women’s March in Adelaide in 1970. Can they be included?

    1. Hi Maire. UMA is only collecting internal University records at the moment. Perhaps the State Library of South Australia or State Records South Australia might be interested in including your photos in their collection. If you are not interested in donating the photographs to a cultural institution you might want to check out Historypin (www.historypin.org), where you can upload images online and pin them to a map and cross reference with other images from a similar time period.

  3. Anna Brus · · Reply

    To whom it may concern,

    for an exhibition in the RautenstrauchJoest Museum in Cologne, Germany („The Savage hits back“- Colonial Era images of Europeans in Lips Collection, 15.3.-2.6.2018) we would like to show the portrait of Tommy McRae and a drawing by from the Foord family collection. McRae is one of the artists that the German Anthropologist Lips showed in his early anti colonial book “The Savage hits back or the White Men through Native Eyes” (1937).

    Detail of ‘Squatters of the Old Times’, copy of ink drawing by Tommy, undated, University of Melbourne Archives, John Foord Family Collection, 1961.0008.00052

    Corroboree or William Buckley and Dancers from the Wathaurong People, (c. 1890), ink on paper by Tommy McRae, University of Melbourne Archives, Foord Family Collection, 1961.0008.00001

    We would need high resolution images (tiff or jpeg, 300-600pi). Could you kindly inform me about the conditions and the price?

    Thank you for your help!
    Anna Brus

    1. Hello Anna,

      Could you please email your request to archives@archives.unimelb.edu.au and an archivist will respond to your inquiry.

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