Listed below are the projects that are offered through the Museums and Collections Projects Program this year. New projects will also be added to the list during the year. To view the projects available with a specific cultural collection, click on that collection link. Each project has a position description (PD) that provides further information – to view a PD, click on the link after the project description. If you are interested in any of these project opportunities, please complete the Expression of Interest form (PDF / Doc) and return via email with a copy of your current CV.
For more information contact:
Museums and Collections Projects Coordinator
University of Melbourne
Tel. 8344 3103
University of Melbourne Archives
The University of Melbourne Archives collects, manages and provides access to the historical records of the University, Victorian business, trade unions and other labour organisations, community and cultural organisations, as well as the personal papers of individuals prominent within them. Records date back to the first years of the colony of Victoria up until the present day and cover a wide field of endeavour. The Archives were established in 1960 and to date hold some 18 kilometres of records.
School of Chemistry Collection
The School of Chemistry Collection comprises over 600 items used for chemistry teaching and research at the University of Melbourne from the 1850s to 1960s. It includes glassware, measuring and experimental apparatus, burners, chemical samples, balances, catalogues and lecture notes. Many items are of historical significance due to their association with key figures in the history of Australian science such as Frederick McCoy, Ernst Johannes Hartung, David Orme Masson and John MacAdam. A small selection of items is on display at any given time, while most of the collection, which is in storage, may be viewed by appointment or via the online catalogue.
Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology
The Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology collection comprises of approximately 10,000 objects. The main collection consists of dissected human remains (organs, systems or regions). There are some specimens still held in their original glass containers, dating back to the time of Sir Harry Brookes Allen (1854 –1926). Approximately one fifth of the collection is on display at any one time. The Harry Brookes Allen Museum also includes a significant collection of historical plaster, papier-mâché and wax anatomical models imported from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum is open to current and former students and staff for study and research.
Medical History Museum
The Museum houses a research collection which documents the history of the University of Melbourne’s Medical School, its teaching hospitals and achievements of its graduates and, more broadly, the history of medical practice in Victoria. The collection consists of medical, surgical and scientific instruments, archival photographs, academic certificates, personal papers and records, commemorative medals, art works and a fully equipped, relocated 19th century London pharmacy.
The Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum
The Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum documents the history of dentistry and dental education in Victoria. It includes historic records and archival material, as well as dental surgery, workroom and laboratory equipment dating from the 18th century to the present day.
Rare Books Collection - Baillieu Library
The Rare Books collection comprises of around 250,000 volumes of books, journals and ephemera that because of their age, beauty, rarity or other factors, are not suitable for placing on the open shelves. The International collection consists of early printed books, periodicals and pamphlets. The collections also include manuscripts, high quality facsimiles, modern limited editions, examples of fine binding and printing and notable private press collections, including Doves and Kelmscott Press. The Australiana Collections comprise books and some serials, newspapers and pamphlets published in Australia or on Australian subjects or by an Australian author. The Book Arts Collection holds around 350 artists’ books, the majority of which are Australian made with many created by Melbourne artists. The collection aims to demonstrate the history and development of artists’ books both within Australia and internationally.
Special Collections and Grainger Museum (combined project)
Special Collections is the collective name given to the three University Library cultural collections and comprises of Rare Books, Prints and Rare Music. The Grainger Museum, which also comes under the Library’s umbrella, is the only purpose-built autobiographical museum in Australia. It is home to a wonderful collection of art, photographs, costumes, music scores and instruments acquired by Percy Grainger, an icon of twentieth century Australian musical culture.
Baillieu Library Print Collection
Inspiring and visually striking, the Baillieu Library Print Collection includes approximately 9,000 individual works of art. It encompasses prints (engravings, woodcuts etc.), print albums, drawings, paintings, tools and books. Most the collection is European, featuring such renowned artists as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt and William Hogarth. It is representative of Western printmaking practitioners and techniques (relief, intaglio and planographic) dating from the 15th to the 19th century, but it also includes examples from the 20th and 21st century. The Collection was originally intended as a teaching tool for students and it continues to be used particularly by students of art history and history here at the University.
Rare Music Collection
Rare Music comprises music manuscripts, printed scores, books, archival collections and other music-related materials that are rare and in some cases unique. The collection includes items from the late 13th century through to the present day. The rich holdings of European music have at their core the Hanson-Dyer Collection of 15th to early 19th century music imprints, first editions and music manuscripts. Transferred to Melbourne in 2005, this 245-item strong collection includes French operatic works, British publications, works of the Italian renaissance and books on music theory, establishing collection strengths that have been built on with recent acquisitions. Rare Music also includes the very substantial archive of the French music publishing house, Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre (1932–2013), founded by expatriate Louise Hanson-Dyer (1884–1962). Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre is celebrated for its scholarly and pioneering editions and sound recordings of early music.
Architecture, Building and Planning Library: Rare Materials Collection
This Rare Materials Collection in the Architecture, Building and Planning Library includes 19th and 20th century material, seminal architectural texts, collections of major local architects and planners, original drawings, sketchbooks and scrapbooks, objects from the University's architectural atelier and theses.
The Grainger Museum was established in the 1930s by the composer, pianist and folklorist Percy Grainger to show the 'sources from which composers draw their inspirations'. The collection includes music manuscripts and printed editions by many composers, correspondence, musical instruments, ephemera, photography and fine and decorative arts.
Creswick Campus Historical Collection
The Creswick Campus Historical Collection contains an estimated 12,000 objects, documents and photographs relating to the more than one hundred years of forestry education at the University of Melbourne's Creswick Campus. The collection recounts the personal and professional histories of those who have studied, worked and lived at the forestry school. Notable items include numerous examples of staff and student work, photographs, and several natural history collections. A substantial school herbarium contains specimens collected by former staff and students as well as esteemed scientists including Baron Ferdinand von Mueller.
Victorian College of the Arts - School of Film and Television Digital Archive
The Victorian College of the Arts, within the Faculty of VCA and MCM is located at the University of Melbourne’s Southbank Campus and brings together an extensive range of creative disciplines including Art, Community Cultural Development, Contemporary Music, Dance, Film and Television, Interdisciplinary Arts Practice, Music Theatre, Production and Writing. Over the past fifty years, the Victorian College of the Arts’ School of Film and Television (formerly the Swinburne School of Film and Television) has amassed an archive which comprises hundreds of short films. The Archive is a significant and unique resource of cultural information, sound, stories and images that document Australian life and history.
Mechanical Engineering Collection
At present the Mechanical Engineering Collection at the University comprises of the A.G.M. Michell Collection (which relates to the research and achievements of engineer and inventor A.G.M. Michell), and other items which encompass the history of teaching and research in mechanical engineering more broadly.
University of Melbourne Herbarium
The University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) was established in 1926 and, with an estimated 150,000 specimens, is now the largest university herbarium in Australia. The collection includes specimens collected by Banks and Solander, as well as historic botanical objects and artwork. MELU is a vibrant and active teaching and research collection of international significance, with specimens of all major plant groups represented in the collection. The Herbarium compliments the National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL), Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, with which there is strong collaboration.
Tiegs Zoology Museum, School of Bio Sciences
The Tiegs Zoology Museum of the University of Melbourne was established in the late 1880s and is Australia’s oldest university museum of zoology. The collection, accumulated over 120 years, has specimens contributed by the first Professor of the department, Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer. It has an extensive collection of specimens representing the whole animal kingdom, ranging from small invertebrates to prepared whole-mounts and skeletons of vertebrates including an African lion, and a moa (an extinct emu-like bird from New Zealand). There is also an extensive collection of microscope slides, with contributions from Professor Spencer and other former researchers in the department, and a large number of reprints and other historical documents of cultural significance.
Constructed in 1856, the Old Quad is one of the most historically significant buildings on the University of Melbourne campus and is included in the Victorian Heritage Register. Through an extensive restoration project to be completed in April 2019, the north and areas of the east wings will be largely returned to their original design, and reaffirm Old Quad’s place as the key cultural, civic, engagement and ceremonial heart of the University. Restoration works at the Old Quad will rebuild many of the structure’s original features and create several flexible spaces to support a vibrant and welcoming campus community at a key destination that celebrates the rich history of the University. The restored multi-functional spaces within the Old Quad will also include an exhibition space and several display areas to create opportunities for further engagement with the items from the University’s cultural collections.
Science Gallery Melbourne
Science Gallery Melbourne is a dynamic new venue for engaging 15-25 year olds with arts and science. Part of the acclaimed International network with eight nodes worldwide, and embedded in the University of Melbourne, Science Gallery Melbourne will open in 2020. Science Gallery started in Dublin with the idea of becoming the world’s leading organisation for involving, inspiring and transforming curious minds through science. Each Science Gallery shares a common mission: to ignite creativity and discovery where science and art collide. In the years prior to opening, Science Gallery Melbourne will host themed programs of exhibitions, events, talks, podcasts and workshops in a range of pop-up locations. Science Gallery Melbourne’s exhibition for 2019 is DISPOSABLE. The lid has been lifted on human wastefulness, but what next? Science Gallery Melbourne will highlight experimental and creative ways to tackle our ever-growing excess of waste through transdisciplinary and collaborative practices in its third pop-up program.
UoM Cultural Collections – Indigenous Collections
The rich cultural collections of the University of Melbourne contain a wealth of materials that relate to Indigenous history. Accessing these collections is currently ad hoc as related materials only have brief listings on the Museums and Collections website. Currently there are three distinct links: to the Donald Thomson Collection, the Leonhard Adam Collection and a more generic link to the collections held at the University of Melbourne Archives. In addition to these named collections there are more Indigenous materials in other collections which are not currently represented through this gateway. It is anticipated that through this project the University’s Indigenous collection materials will be highlighted, and that the more comprehensive information will provide a link to the other UoM museums and collections that hold these materials.
University House is the staff club at The University of Melbourne and aims to foster and maintain contacts and the exchange of ideas between the various disciplines represented by staff of the University of Melbourne. The Club was instituted in 1952 for the purpose of creating within the University a wider and more varied society than any single Department could offer, and in the hope that it would promote friendship and the fruitful exchange of ideas between people whose work is varied but has a common objective.
Ian Potter Museum of Art
The Ian Potter Museum of Art houses the University of Melbourne Art Collection. The collection is rich and varied and has major holdings of Australian art from the early 19th century to the present, as well as holdings of European art, International indigenous art and classics and archaeology. Numbering 20,000 works, these holdings form the largest university art collection in Australia. The diversity of the University Art Collection allows for constant re-interpretation and it is a great resource for the University, its academic programs and the public through changing displays and exhibitions
Buxton Contemporary is the result of a landmark gift to the University by the art collector and property developer Michael Buxton. In 1995 he founded the Michael Buxton Collection with the aim of developing a museum quality collection of contemporary Australian art. The museum opened in 2018 at the University of Melbourne’s art school, the Victorian College of the Arts. Designed by renowned architects Fender Katsalidis, the museum is comprised of four public exhibition galleries, teaching facilities, and the largest outdoor screen in Australia dedicated to the display of moving image art. The Collection acquired individual artists’ work in depth, across media, and over time, while supporting those artists to practice ambitiously. Within twenty years the Collection had grown to more than 350 major artworks and was widely recognised as one of the most important collections of recent Australian art held anywhere in the world. Buxton Contemporary is located in the heart of the Melbourne arts precinct where it provides a creative forum through which the University engages local, national and international audiences with the best of contemporary Australian and international art.
Infrastructure Engineering Collection
The Geomatics and Surveying Collection includes examples of each of the types of instrument used for astronomical, angular and distance measurement, together with instruments for the computation, plotting and presentation of the survey data. The collection is considered to be the most comprehensive in Victoria and to be significant in Australia. It contains examples of distance measuring equipment ranging from the 100 link Gunter’s chain, through the long steel band (reputedly developed in Australia using wire from the crinoline skirt of a surveyor’s wife), to various electronic distance measurers using microwaves and infra-red light waves. Examples of instruments used in astronomical observations in the 1800’s are included.
Computer and Information Systems Heritage Collection
The Computing and Information Systems Heritage Collection documents the development of the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, and illustrates the evolution of computer technology, teaching and research in computer science since the School's foundation in 1955. The collection currently comprises over 700 items, including pieces of input and output equipment, historical calculators, components and other hardware, network equipment, media, and literature such as textbooks and conference proceedings. The Collection includes items which were developed as research projects by the staff of the School, or as systems to support teaching and research activities, some of which were commercialised and sold within Australia and internationally
Electrical Engineering Collection
The Electrical Engineering Education Collection is one of the key components of the University of Melbourne's collections of scientific instruments. The items held in the collection represent over 90 years of teaching in the discipline of electrical and electronic engineering from the inception of the course in the Faculty of Engineering in 1911, through to the establishment of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1947, to the present day. The collection includes photographs, certificates and historical literature, as well as electrical, electronic, telegraphic and radio equipment dating from the late 19th century to the present. The instruments in the collection reflect the rapidly changing technologies of the field, from the early measuring instruments such as standard voltage cells and galvanometers, to the rapidly changing communication technologies represented by an early radio receiver and a Morse key, through to microprocessors and computers.
Burnley Campus Archives
The University of Melbourne's Faculty of Science, Burnley Campus, was formerly the Burnley Horticultural College amongst other incarnations. It has been teaching horticultural courses for a variety of educational institutions since 1891, although land was first put aside at the site for the Victorian Horticultural Society in the 1850s. The Burnley Archive Collection consists of over 15 metres of material that relates to the Burnley Horticultural College. The archive was initially assembled for the 1991 teaching centenary of the College and to form a research source for the publication, Green Grows Our Garden: A Centenary History of Horticultural Education at Burnley, by A.P. Winzenried, Hyland House, 1991. The Archive comprises of materials that date back to the 19th century including the College's official records (principals' administration records, registers, student attendance books, alumni deposits, student club documents etc.), photographs, news cuttings, maps, plans and films. It also contains artefacts such as ploughs, leadlight windows and jodhpurs.
Law Rare Books Collection, University Library
The Law Rare Books Collection is an important public collection of rare and early legal texts. The collection is of research significance not only to lawyers, but also to researchers of legal, social and cultural history. It has particularly strong holdings of early printed law texts, law reports, seventeenth-century political pamphlets, classic legal texts and material relating to Australian Federation and the early years of the Commonwealth. Its 19th century holdings are a good representative example of a colonial lawyer's library and are significant for what they can tell us about the practice of law in early Victoria. The collection's links to the beginnings of the University of Melbourne – via the collections of individuals such as William Edward Hearn and Sir Redmond Barry – make it of significance to Melbourne Law School and the University community more broadly.
East Asian Collection, Special Collections
Originally housed in the East Asian Library, the East Asian Rare Book Collection was transferred to Rare Books for safe keeping. The East Asian Rare Book Collection comprises Chinese and Japanese language rare books. The Chinese material includes 7,000 volumes of works dating from the 1600s to 1935, as well as scrolls of painting and calligraphy, magazines published in the 1930s and diaries from the Cultural Revolution period. The East Asian Collection holds some 65 diaries from various periods in the Cultural Revolution. These unpublished manuscripts are mostly personal diaries, with some work diaries, and are important primary sources for this historical period. The Japanese rare collections are particularly strong in history, art, architecture, language learning and teaching and popular culture. There is a comprehensive collection of kokuho shuri hokokusho (restoration reports of 'national treasure' temples and other buildings); items relating to the Kanto Earthquake of 1 September, 1923 (Kanto Daishinsai); pamphlets and booklets advising the populace on how to prepare for American air raids during the Second World War; and ephemera from Japan's occupation of Manchuria in the 1930s.
UoM Cultural Collections – Comparative Anatomy Collections, combined project
The Melbourne Dental School, Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Sciences at the University all hold comparative anatomy collections that have traditionally been used for learning and teaching activities across the three schools. However due to their rarity, fragility and inaccessibility, the original skulls are no longer suitable for learning and teaching activities. Increased student numbers and important factors limiting the acquisition of skulls (including ethical considerations and wildlife conservation) have also made it necessary to seek out suitable alternatives. The advent of accessible and effective 3D scanning and printing technologies will enable the continued presence of skulls for object-based learning, while preserving and conserving the collections for the future.