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Melbourne Athenaeum Archives Melbourne , Victoria

The Archives manages records of The Melbourne Athenaeum which was founded in 1839 as the Melbourne Mechanic's Institution. Its purpose, "the diffusion of literary, scientific and other useful knowledge to members and the general public, was achieved by maintaining a Library, Museum and Reading Room, and offering classes and lectures. Land was purchased in 1840 in Collins Street and the original building, a two-storey, rendered-brick structure, was completed in 1842. The name was changed to the Melbourne Athenaeum in 1872 reflecting the cultural changes in the society it represented. The Library continues to operate.

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Contact Information

location
Level 1, 188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000 (map)
phone
+61 03 9650 3100

Contact

Opening Hours

The Archives is open to researchers on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 am to 6 pm, by appointment. The Library is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 - 6 pm; Wednesdays 10 - 8 pm; Friday 10 - 4 pm and Saturday 10 am - 2 pm.

Entry Fee

Archives, free entry to research the collection The Melbourne Athenaeum Library is Victoria's oldest subscription library. Members pay a yearly subscription of $99 ($89 concession) to borrow up to 30 items at a time for up to 4 weeks.

Location

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria

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The Archives project commenced in 2005 and has provided research support for a range of research projects including a volume of essays about its history; publication of several papers in historical journals; an exhibition of pictures (displayed in the theatre foyer) and assisted numerous students, including PhD candidates, family historians and,, writers of fact and fiction.

Significance

The archives collection reflects the work of the The Melbourne Athenaeum, previousy Mechanics' Institution, where the Library has special significance to the city not only because of its continuous service to its members since 1839, but also to the links to the Melbourne's founders, far-sighted men from all walks of life who understood the need for knowledge and the importance of literature. The institution has operated from the same site in Collins Street since 1842 when the original building, a two-storey Georgian-style construction, was first occupied. The Melbourne Athenaeum Archives covers the history of the institution which was formed in 1839, a few years after European settlement. The visionary men involved established a cultural and social hub for Melbourne that has endured despite financial difficulties. The Melbourne Athenaeum continues to be managed by a voluntary Committee of Management, supporting a popular subscription library and a theatre that provides a wide variety of live entertainments for the citizens of Melbourne.

Sylvia 10 March 2016 4:43 PM

I have an admission ticket(in 2 Parts) for the film "Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolson. It is dated Monday April 1. It doesn't have a date but my father has written 1926. The only information I can get leads me to believe that it was actually 1929 not 1926. Was the film being shown in 1926 at the theatre. Any help appreciated. Thanks Sylvia

Marjorie Dalvean 18 March 2016 1:56 PM

Our records show that the film was shown at the Melbourne Athenaeum in 1929. A copy of the poster can be seen in the foyer of the theatre, as part of the "Athenaeum in Pictures" exhibition. Our records show the film was made in 1927 and shown in Sydney in 1929.

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579 items

579 items

Internet Article - Tig Notaro - Boyish Girl Interrupted (comedian) performing on 9 Dec 2014 at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre program - Macbeth (play) by William Shakespeare performed by the Melbourne Theatre company at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 29 March 1979

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program; the program contains some photographs taken during rehearsals.

Theatre Program - Lennon, the Legend, the Music (musical) written by Bob Eaton performed at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 13 February 1987

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Flyer and Newspaper articles

Historical information

Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust Production production

Theatre Program - The Heartbreak Kid (play) By Richard Barret performed at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 15 September 1989

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

black and white print flyer

Theatre Poster - Akmal (comedian) performing 5 - 17 April 2016 at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - On Our Selection (play) by Bert Bailey adapted from the works of Steel Rudd performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 1 December 1982

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Historical information

The play was presented by arrangement with NIDA, The play was originally dramatized by Bert Bailey from the works of Australian writer Steele Rudd.

Significance

The program includes information about Australian writer Steele Rudd and the original play. Garry McDonald best known as 'Norman Gunston' plays eldest son Dave.

Newspaper Article - The World's Depression, Its Cause and Cure lecture by Mr. W. Shiels at Melbourne Athenaeum Hall - The Age 19 June 1894

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Flyer - The Gay Divorcee (play) by Margaret Fischer performed at Athenaeum Theatre Two, Melbourne commencing 21 July 1994

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Coloured Flyer

Historical information

Vitalstatistix Theatre Company and Ford O' Connell Presents. Writer and performer Magaret Fischer Director Rose Clemente Designer Cath Cantalon LX design Maxine Le Guier Music Marianne Permezel & Justin Posa

Theatre Program - Once in a Lifetime (play) by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, no date, no venue Festival Shaw 1989

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Coloured paper program

Theatre Program - Tristram Shandy – Gent (play) Adapted by Tim Robertson from the novel by Lawrence Sterne performed at the Russell Street Theatre commencing 9 March 1988

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

coloured program

Historical information

part of the 1988 comedy festival

Theatre Flyer - Love's Rite a dramatization of selected sonnets of William Shakespeare performed at the Athenaeum 2 commencing 25 May 1986

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Flyer and newspaper article

Historical information

Oz Ark Theatre Company

Significance

Two part show based on a selection of Shakespeare sonnets

Newspaper article - Saffire (concert) performed at Athenaeum Theatre 5 July 2003. Saffire, a high-powered "dream team" of four Australian guitarists - Gareth Koch, Karin Schaupp, Antony Field and Slava Grigoryan - who, as well as being exceptionally talented, demonstrate an impressive willingness to sublimate their individual egos for the greater good of the ensemble.

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - The Barber of Seville (opera) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 28 May 1999

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Newspaper Article - Kate Miller-Heidke (musician) played at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre on 18 March 2014

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

newspaper article - The Squatters' Meeting in front of the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution - article dated 18 June 1844

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Newspaper Article - Tell Me Tonight (film) screened at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre from 6 May 1933 - Argus, Saturday 6 May 1933

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Ticket - "Effie - A Broad" tickets to a preview screening, held at The Comedy Club 380 Lygon St Carlton, of Effie's new TV Series

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

web page - The New Sin (play) performed at Athenaeum Hall on 6 December 1913

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - Richard III (play) by William Shakespeare performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 14 March 1978

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program; coloured cover; 16 p. includes articles about the play and the actors.

Historical information

The play is part of MTC's 25th anniversary season March to September 1978, directed by Mick Rodger. Ray Lawler was Deputy Director of the company. The program includes simplified family trees of the House of York (White Rose) and House of Lancaster (Red Rose).

information booklet /program - White night 2015 program(cultral event)run by city of melbourne 21 Febuary 2015

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

colored event program

Theatre Poster - Jimeoin Is It...?! (comedy) performed at Athenaeum Theatre 25 March to 19 April 2015

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Flyer - Piaf (musical biography) performed by Jeanne Lewis at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 4 July 1995

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

coloured black and red flyer

Inscriptions & Markings

contains a brief history of Edith piaf life

flyer - ABBA Show presented by Showtime Magement commencing at the athenaeum theartre 14 December 2017

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Coloured Flyer

Newspaper Article - Telegraphic Entertainment – 1 August 1878 – lecture and telegraphic conversazione held at Melbourne Athenaeum Hall on 1 August 1878

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Poster - The Umbilical Brothers KiDSHoW (Not Suitable for Children) (comedy) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 31 March 2015 as part of Comedy Festival

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

web page - Eureka Stockade - the film was first screened in the Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne on 19 October 1907.

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Flyer - Figatroll (School Holiday Opera) performed at Melbourne Athenaeum 2 commencing 30 June 2014

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre program - Alexander Watson : The distinguished English elocutionist (at Melbourne Athenaeum, 1927)

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Program: Regarding the details of the recital to be given by Alexander Watson commencing Saturday 21 May 1927. Program is on beige paper with dark brown print; 8 pages

Historical information

The program includes list of items to be recited and short biography of writers: Roderic Quinn, John Buchan, J M Barrie, Hillaire Belloc, A A Milne, John Masefield, John Drinkwater, Rudyard Kipling.

Significance

Fifth and final tour of Alexander Watson considered to be the leading British Elocutionist with 25 years' experience. The program was directed by E J Gravestock presented in Melbourne by Frank Talbot. Two Matinee recitals were held at the Athenaeum Theatre on 24th and 27th May at 2.30pm.

Inscriptions & Markings

Price 3d (three pence)

Theatre Flyer - Les Miserables (musical theatre) performed by St Michael's Grammar School May 2001

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Historical information

By 2000 the School’s confidence in staging theatrical productions had grown to the point where it could confidently stage Les Misérables at the Athenaeum Theatre. The production involved a cast and crew of over 140 current students, staff and Old Michaelians and almost sold out eight performances. 2001: St Michael’s becomes the first School to stage a production in Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre with the performance of Les Misérables

Theatre Advertisement - The Truman Capote Talk Show by Bob Kingdom performed at Athenaeum Theatre Two, Melbourne commencing 18 October 1994

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Newspaper Advertisement black and white

Historical information

Written and performed by Bob Kingdom Directed by Kevin Knight Winner of the 1993 Edinburgh