Historical information

The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) was established by an act of the Victorian Parliament in 1890 to prepare for and to implement a sewerage and water reticulation system across what was then inner Melbourne, its surrounding and middle distance suburbs, including Kew. The MMBW was disbanded in 1991.


The map collection of the Kew Historical Society has at its core the historic maps assembled and originally stored in the City Engineer's Department of the City of Kew. These include maps in a number of scales. The vast majority of maps were produced by the MMBW in the first two decades of the twentieth century, and are solid working maps, backed by linen for durability. These maps are historically significant to Kew, the City of Boroondara and to the history of the development of state utilities in Victoria. A number of the Kew maps have additional details added by former municipal officers, including the levels reached by various floods. As these were working documents, information was added to them long after the period of their initial production and distribution.

Physical description

Early map of part of the Borough of Kew, created in the early twentieth century, at a scale 160 ft to 1 inch. The map covers what was then the north eastern part of Kew showing the natural landscape and limited development on the south side of the Yarra River. In the Kew section, south of the river, the land is occupied currently by the Greenacres and Kew Golf Clubs. The map shows the extent of urban development by that time and the outlines of the few built structures in the municipality. The height above sea level of all parts of the landscape are indicated numerically in feet. Contour lines and the levels of historic floods were added in ink to the map at a later stage.

Inscriptions & markings