City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection goes digital

City of Melbourne CollectionFrom the city’s first brick and unrealised design plans to Moomba relics and an Olympic torch; Melbourne’s most significant objects can be seen together for the first time on a new website.

Since the 1850s, the City of Melbourne has collected 8000 items of cultural material valued at $64 million, including public art and memorials, mayoral portraits, contemporary art, historical artefacts, photography and many other treasures.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle AC said the new City Collection website brings together some of the most important items in the city’s history. “Our City Collection uniquely combines the charm and character of a private art collection with the ambition of the finest state museums, making it the best capital city collection in Australia,” said the Lord Mayor.

“This diverse and somewhat eccentric collection reflects the eclectic and distinctive identity that makes Melbourne such a vibrant cultural capital. The new City Collection website has been carefully curated to include many of Melbourne’s most cherished items and some intriguing stories about their history.”

The website comprises nine categories: treasures; public art; Council and Town Hall; contemporary art; managing a city; events; Aboriginal Melbourne; photography and miscellaneous Melbourne. More than 1000 items have already been uploaded to the site, with another 3000 to go online over the next year.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Portfolio Chair Councillor Rohan Leppert said the City Collection website is a treasure trove of Melbourne’s most fascinating objects. “From stuffy portraits and ceremonial garb to photos of potholes and drawings of a Melbourne that might have been, our City Collection ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous, with everything in between,” said Cr Leppert.

“What makes it so special is that it’s big enough to reflect the city and its narratives yet intimate enough to stay connected to the streets and its stories. Art buffs, historians, lovers of kitsch and anyone with an interest in Melbourne’s history will be fascinated with the online treasure trove that is the new City Collection website.”

For more information and to view the Collection, visit: for details.

Image: Ronald Kirk, Moomba emblem – clown and boomerang, 1954; Architectural element featuring City of Melbourne coat of arms, 1879; and Duncan Stemler, Blowhole, 2005 – City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection