A National Museum

Viewing by appointment only

Old Quad has functioned in many different capacities over the last 160 years. In one of its many iterations, the Old Quad housed the National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria) between 1856-63. Championed by original professor, Frederick McCoy (1817-99), the University’s own collection rapidly grew to include items from the areas of zoology, mining technology, geology and agriculture, which today form part of the earliest cultural collections held by the University of Melbourne.

This display embraces not only the history of the National Museum at Old Quad, but this moment as a pivotal spark towards a legacy of University-wide collecting. Today the University's cultural collection is one of the largest and most significant collections in Australia, representing 60,000 years of Indigenous knowledge, 200 years of engagement with European heritage, and generations of migrant stories up to and including the present day.

A National Museum is supported by the Tiegs Museum, the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, and the F.A. Singleton Earth Sciences Collection.

Image: Rainbow Lorikeet. Tiegs Museum, University of Melbourne. Photograph Lee McRae