Historical information

This photograph depicts the entrance to the Burke Museum in Beechworth, most likely in 1980.

The building was originally established as the Beechworth Athenaeum in 1857 to provide a lecture hall and reading room at the peak of the gold rush. In 1859, it became the Beechworth Public Library, which is why the writing embossed above the main entry says 'Library' rather than 'Museum'. The building was turned into a museum and renamed the Robert O'Hara Burke Memorial Museum in 1863 in honour of Robert O'Hara Burke, former Police Superindendent of Beechworth who died in 1861 on the Burke and Wills expedition.

The Burke Museum has been in almost continual operation since that time. In the 1970s, the building underwent renovations to create several verandas, though the main façade visible in this photograph remained as it was when originally built.

The Burke Museum currently contains over 30,000 individual objects, including the Gold Rush era items and the Ned Kelly collection advertised on the a-frame in the photograph. The photograph itself is also part of the Burke Museum collection.


The Burke Museum itself is very significant to Victorian history. It is on both the Victorian Heritage Register and is part of the National Trust due to its relevance to the history of the Gold Rush period, its architectural features, and its significant collection. Photographs of it throughout its history are an important part of telling the museum's story.

This photograph in particular highlights what the museum staff believed would be appealing to a 1980s public, evident by the A-frame advertising board.

Physical description

A black and white rectangular photograph printed on photographic paper.

Inscriptions & markings

Top right text:

Bottom left text:
Beryl Seatt (or possibly Scatt) & friend 1980