International House Collection

International House is a hall of residence of the University of Melbourne, housing both local and international students. Opened in 1957 (with the official opening the following year), International House Melbourne was the first residence of its type in Australia. For the historian Geoffrey Blainey, Melbourne’s International House was ‘probably Australia’s most tangible expression of its new consciousness of Asia’ (Blainey, 1957, 203).

International House is probably Australia’s most tangible expression of its new consciousness of Asia.

Geoffrey Blainey, 1957

The International House Collection includes the International House Archives, artworks, building fragments, furniture, decorative arts and other objects. The archival component of the collection is the largest and includes material dating back to the planning and fundraising activities of the early to mid-1950s; minutes of the International House Council; applications for residence; photographs; correspondence; newspaper cuttings; and copies of student publications.

Artworks include portraits of former chairs of the International Council by Clifton Pugh, Charles Bush and other prominent artists.

The collection also includes furniture, decorative arts and other objects many of which were presented to International House by former residents or other people closely associated with its founding and history.

Read more about some of the objects and stories in the International House Collection.

View our exhibition about the International House Auxiliaries.

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Blainey, G. (1957). A centenary history of the University of Melbourne. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press.