Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc, Melbourne

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc, Melbourne

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Formerly Historical Society of Victoria, 1909-1952
  • RHSV


  • Community

Contact area


Executive Director or Librarian



Street address

239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne 3000





Country name

Postal code



03 9326 9288




Description area


In 1909 the Historical Society of Victoria (becoming the Royal Historical Society of Victoria - RHSV - in 1952) was formed to capture the history of the state of Victoria. This was to be achieved by creating a register of early Victorian colonists.
The society's collection is one of Australia’s significant historical collections focusing on the Victorian experience in Australian history. It was established in 1909 with donations from early settlers, their descendants, amateur and professional historians. The collection continues to expand with donations from the public, historical societies and community organisations. It is a rich and diverse collection covering social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of Victoria’s history.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

The Society's objectives are set out at

Administrative structure

Officer in charge: Executive Director

Records management and collecting policies

Items relating to Victorian and local history and cultural heritage - books, manuscripts, photographs and other images, artefacts.



The holdings include:

  • Manuscript collection: over 20,000 items range from official government documents to personal letters and diaries donated to the society.
  • Pioneer register: the society has collected and maintained a register of early colonists in the state of Victoria containing more than 2,200 forms.
  • Image collection: includes paintings, engravings, drawings, lithographs, postcards, maps and parish plans, and items of museum ephemera. Historical photographs date from the 1850s. Major subject areas are portraiture, street scenes – both Melbourne and many Victorian country towns, architectural and occupational.
  • Library collection: As well as being an important collection of books, the collection includes rare pamphlets, documents, ephemera, newspaper cuttings on a variety of topics in the Vertical Files, newsletters, family histories and directories.
    For further details, see the website.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, by appointment.

Access conditions and requirements

If you want to visit and make use of the collections, please make an appointment to ensure that relevant material is held.
Charges apply for some services, for example, for use of the collection by non-members.


Services area

Research services

Off-site: A fee is charged for extended research. For arrangements and General Research Enquiry Form, see
On-site: If you prefer to visit and use the collection, please make an appointment.

Reproduction services

For printing and photocopying services and fees, see

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 1 September 2022




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Thematic area)
  • Agriculture (Thematic area)
  • Arts and Culture (Thematic area)
  • Built Environment (Thematic area)
  • Defence (Thematic area)
  • Education (Thematic area)
  • Environment (Thematic area)
  • Family / Domestic Life (Thematic area)
  • Genealogical (Thematic area)
  • Geography (Thematic area)
  • Immigration (Thematic area)
  • Indigenous (Thematic area)
  • Industry, Manufacturing and Commerce (Thematic area)
  • Law and Justice (Thematic area)
  • Medicine and Health (Thematic area)
  • Natural Resources (Thematic area)
  • Politics and Government (Thematic area)
  • Populations (Thematic area)
  • Recreation / Leisure / Sports (Thematic area)
  • Religion (Thematic area)
  • Science and Technology (Thematic area)
  • Social Organisations and Activities (Thematic area)
  • Transportation (Thematic area)
  • Travel and Exploration (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne 3000
Melbourne, Victoria 3000