Museums & Collections

6 minute read

Neo classical inspired wall sculpture including a man throwing a discus. Cultural Rubble by Christine O'Loughlin

Step into a world of rare books, old photos and historical maps. Discover Indigenous artefacts, antique scientific instruments and rare plant specimens. Or immerse yourself in film and television archives, costumes and music scores.

The University’s wide range of museums and collections provides a wealth of material. Use these resources to support your research, learning and teaching goals. Or, you may want to satisfy your curiosity about a personal interest or passion. Whatever your mission, you’ll find a museum or collection that suits. Many of our collections and museums are open to the public – you don’t have to work or study at the University.

The University is home to some of the oldest and most extensive collections in Australia. For example, the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology. It holds one of Australia's largest collections of human tissue specimens and anatomical models, offering an insight into the human body and how it works.

The Herbarium holds around 150,000 specimens of plants, fungi and algae, and even artworks. This collection provides records of plant distributions over time. These records inform our knowledge of climate change, habitat loss, biodiversity and biosecurity.

The Business & Commerce collections hold records of more than 300 businesses from colonial Victoria through to the present day. Read experiences from a range of sectors, including mining, metals treatment, shipping and retail.

If you have a particular passion, you might also choose to work as a volunteer or join a membership group for some of our collections. Or as a scholar, you could apply for a fellowship or award.

For more details on our museums and collections, see below.

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Ivory anatomical model of a pregnant female

Collections Overview

Discover the University’s cultural collections. The valuable collections include rare books, artefacts, maps, musical instruments and biological specimens. Regular new acquisitions keep the collections dynamic and relevant for today’s society.

An installation view of an exhibition with two hanging textile works and a screen on the floor in foreground

Museums Overview

Learn more about the University’s diverse museums and galleries. Discover ancient Greek vases, contemporary Australian art, medical history, zoological specimens and more. Visit the individual websites for current exhibits and opening hours.