Our collection


The Robert O’Hara Burke Memorial Museum is one of Australia’s oldest museums, established as a memorial to Beechworth’s Superintendent of Police from 1854-1858 (and leader of the tragic Burke & Wills expedition in 1860-61). The museum site dates back to 1856, when a Young Men's Association was formed, leading to the establishment in 1857 of the Beechworth Public Library and Athenaeum, re-named as the Museum in 1863 . Collecting activities since then have created a substantial collection reflecting many aspects of the Museum’s and Beechworth’s history. The collection includes natural history specimens dating back to the 1860's (including the extinct Tasmanian tiger), a comprehensive collection of south-eastern Australian Aboriginal artefacts, many items relating to the discovery and mining of gold in Beechworth and the surrounding district, and material documenting local families and identities, including bushranger Ned Kelly. Some of the collection is exhibited in a 19th century recreation of an early Beechworth streetscape, which, together with the Museum and related buildings, form the Beechworth Historic Precinct.

Themes: Transforming and managing land and natural resources, Building towns, cities and the garden state, Building community life