Historical information

This photograph depicts the façade of the Burke Museum in Beechworth. Originally built in 1857 by the Young Men's Association as the Beechworth Athenaeum, the building provided a public lecture hall and reading room for men at the peak of the gold rush era of Beechworth. 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 following the death of Robert O'Hara Burke on the Burke and Wills expedition in 1861, as Burke had been the Police Superintendent of Beechworth.

The museum has had several additions built onto the property, most notably significant extensions in the 1970s, but the main façade depicted in the photograph has remained largely intact. The architecture is an example of provincial conservative classicism.

The Burke Museum contains over 30,000 individual objects, including Gold Rush era items, taxidermy specimens, a Ned Kelly collection, and this very photograph.


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.

Although this is a modern photograph, it captures the façade of the building with similarity to the mid-nineteenth-century provincial conservative classicism style.

Physical description

A colour rectangular photograph printed on photographic paper.

Inscriptions & markings