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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

Season Brochure - 1983 MTC Melbourne Theatre Company 30th Anniversary Athenaeum Theatre and Athenaeum 2

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Booklet - Progress 2015 took place across both the historic Melbourne Town Hall and the Athenaeum Theatre from Thursday 7 May – Saturday 9 May 2015

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - The Pearl Fishers (opera) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 28 August 2003 performed by Melbourne Opera

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - The Life and Death of Sandy Stone (play) by Barry Humphries performed at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 11 November 1990

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Black and white program : good condition

Inscriptions & Markings

advertisement of Ernest Hillier Chocolates story overview

Newspaper Article - TO-DAY IN EUROPE Lecture by Sir Gavan Duffy at Melbourne Athenaeum Hall on September 8th 1873 - Freeman's Journal Saturday 20 September 1873

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Internet Article - The Legal Comedy Debate performed at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre on 14 April 2014

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Poster - Fat Pizza vs Housos (comedy) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 25 March 2015 as part of Comedy Festival

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Poster - Aunty Donna performing at the Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre on 2 July 2016 as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Poster - 2 and A Half Lebs - ATHENAEUM THEATRE – Melbourne - 1st March 2014

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - Three Sisters (play) by Anton Checkhov performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 15 June 1980

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program; coloured cover

Historical information

The play was adapted by Aubrey Mellor and directed by Bruce Myles.

Theatre Flyer - Belen Maya Flamenco Company (dance) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 14 March 1997

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre program - Uncle Vanya (play) by Anton Chekhov performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 26 June 1979

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program

Theatre Program - As You Like It (play) by William Shakespeare performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre commencing 31 March 1982

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program : coloured cover

Historical information

Performers included Sandy Gore and Norman Kaye; 1982 was the year the training scholarship was first rewarded at the value of $6000. Short history on the origin of play.

Theatre Flyer - Beatlemania

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

coloured Flyer

Theatre program - The Doll Trilogy: Kid Stakes/Other Times/Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (play) by Ray Lawler performed by Sydney Theatre Company for The Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 26 July 1985

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Coloured program

Historical information

Cast includes Ruth Cracknell Steve Bisley and Harold Hopkins Sydney Theatre Company Production restaged for Melbourne by Wayne Harrison Program includes a history of previous productions from 1937

Newspaper Article - Jeanette Winterson (writer) discussing her book "The Gap of Time' at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre on 16 May 2016 for The Wheeler Centre

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre program - Major Barbara (film) shown at the Athenaeum Theatre in 1941

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program for a film screened at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 3rd October 1941; Pp. 16, (including wrappers and advertisements), printed in brown; printed yellow paper wrappers, stapled, faintly creased, dated by hand in ink at head of upper wrapper; pages browned; Programme for screening at the Athenaeum Theatre of the film Major Barbara, starring Wendy Hiller & Rex Harrison, commencing October 3, 1941.

Theatre Flyer - And Then There's Bea (spoken word) performed at Athenaeum Theatre as part of Melbourne International Festival of the Arts commencing 17 October 2002

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre flyer - One Night Forever (variety concert) performed at the Athenaeum Theatre on 31 July 1988

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Small black and white flyer

Historical information

Performed for the Ewa Czajor trust fund benefit for women theatre directors. The program is undated but the year of the performance was probably 1988.

Theatre program - Pete McGynty and the Dreamtime (play) By Keith Michell performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 1 April 1981

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

paper program

Significance

Keith Michell wrote and performs the lead in this play being an Australian play with tones of Ibsen's Peer Gynt

Newspaper Advertisement - Hollinghurst and Diamond: One Night Only (author talk) Wednesday 1 June at the Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre on behalf of Readings Stores

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

web page - The Crucifixion (play) performed at Athenaeum Theatre Two on 18 November 1979

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Poster - The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains (storytelling with music) performed by Neil Gaiman on 24 January 2015 at Athenaeum Melbourne

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Poster - Sam Simmons (comedian) performing on 17 & 18 June 2016 at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Newspaper Advertisement - Revolting and Ridiculous: A Roald Dahl Retrospective held on 7 July 2016 at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre as part of The Wheeler Centre

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre program - The Celebrated (play) by Stephen Gard performed at the Athenaeum Theatre 2 commencing 28 November 1985

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Photocopied A4 sheets giving details of play

Historical information

Article states show may be last by Melbourne Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre. Play began as Melbourne Theatre Company Sunday Reading

Significance

Cast included Beverley Dunn Marie Redshaw directed by Monica Maugham

Theatre program - The Suicide (play) by Nikolai Erdman performed at the Russell Street Theatre commencing 5 August 1981

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

This program contains historical information about both the author and the play as well as reviews from previous audiences :good condition

Historical information

The play was written in Russia after the revolution in 1928. A satire on Soviet life, productions were banned and after 1934 the play disappeared completely until the 1970s.Translated by Peter Tegel

Newspaper article - Strike action on cards - About 300 Westpac workers, members of the Financial Sector Union (FSU), stopped work today to attend a union meeting at Melbourne's Athenaeum Theatre.

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Web page and flyer - AN EVENING OF OPERA performed at Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne on Thursday 10th March 2016

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Internet Article - Strassman's David "Dave" Strassman (ventriloquist )"iTedE" performed at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre from 30 September to Sat 8 October 2016

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

online article describing event