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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

Theatre Poster - The Umbilical Brothers - Speedmouse performing 26 March - 11 April 2016 at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre as part of Melbourne International 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 - The Barber of Seville (opera) presented by Melbourne Opera at Athenaeum Theatre June-July 2015

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Flyer - Freak Show (play)by Back to Back Theatre and Circus OZ performed at Athenaeum Theatre Two, Melbourne commencing November 1995

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

colored yellow and black flyer in the profile of someone wearing a paper bag on his/her head.

Historical information

The Dates we sourced on the flyer were November 15 - 25 with night and matinee shows avaible. This Performnce was in association with AAustralian Drug Foundation, BE YOUR bEST. ,VICHEALTH, Playing Australia ,Arts Victoria ,Australiian Council of the Arts and Punt Hill Spirital Apartments .

Theatre program - Mourning Becomes Electra: Part Two (play) by Eugene O'Neill performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 4 February 1981

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

paper program

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

Newspaper Article - Carl Hertz (conjurer, illusionist, and prestidigitator) 10 - 24 July 1897: at the Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Flyers and Newspaper Article - Choice of Enemies (play) by Mary Dagmar Davies performed at the Athenaeum Theatre 2 commencing 21 May 1986

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Flyer and Newspaper article

Newspaper article - It's a Dad Thing (musical comedy) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 7 February 2001

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Flyer - Chernobyl's Children, a benefit concert for Australian Chernobyl Children's Relief Foundation Inc, performed at Athenaeum Theatre on 28 April 1996

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - Nunsense (musical) by Dan Goggin performed at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 9 October 1990

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Flyer(black and white)

Historical information

Produced by the Victorian Arts Council with Macolm C Cooke; starring Betty Bobbit. For four weeks only from October the 9th.

Theatre flyer - My Army (play) presented by Glenn Elston ,Greg Hocking and Tim Woods performed at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 8 September 1990

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

black ,pink and white coloured program in good condition

Historical information

The one-man show was presented by Glenn Elston, Greg Hocking and Tim Woods starring Tom Barlow's one-man show.

Significance

The performance was part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival for 1990.

Booklet - Walking the City of Literature / A Literary Map of Melbourne

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Booklet / Map

Historical information

Athenaeum library is listed

Inscriptions & Markings

Markings of Melbourne's Bookstores and Libraries.

Theatre Poster - Sun Kil Moon Australian Tour (musical) performed at Athenaeum Melbourne commencing 21 March 2015

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Newspaper Advertisement - Innocents of Paris (film) shown at the Athenaeum Theatre in 1929

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Newspaper advertisement

Historical information

One of the first sound films starring Maurice Chevalier ''besides the nine principle character characters, forty one actors and actresses speak and Folies Bergeres sequences show a chorus and belle of sixty''. (extract from Sun News pictorial 1929,

Significance

Although no program is held, the advertisement indicates the film was shown at the Athenaeum

Theatre program - The Last Warning (play in three acts) by Thomas S Fallon performed at the Athenaeum Theatre in 1927

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program for a play performed at the Athenaeum Theatre Saturday September 24 1927; coloured cover; 16 p. includes articles about the film, the actors and advertisements

Historical information

The plot of the play is concerned with the performance of a play "The snare" at the imaginary Woodford Theatre; a separate, small paper program for this play within a play is included with the program. The play was based on the novel "House of fear" by Wadsworth Camp and was presented at the Athenaeum Theatre by E.J. Carroll

Significance

Staged by Eric Edgley (Theatrical family); advertisements show cost of living of the period - two course meal for 2 shillings and 3 pence; holiday suggestions by Government Tourist Bureau are to Mt Buffalo and Gippsland Lakes.

Web Page - Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman as part of The Interrobang as part of the Wheeler Centre performed at the Athenaeum Theatre on 4 November 2015

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Poster - Bugle Boys – A Salute To The Andrews Sisters performed at Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre 25 March - 17 April 2016 as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - After the Lions (play) by Ronald Harwood performed at the Athenaeum 2 commencing 8 October 1987

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Historical information

Australian premier

Significance

Stars Evelyn Krape as Sarah Bernhardt. After injuring her knee Bernhardt finally had part of the leg amputated but continued to perform. She was offered a circus tour in America in 1914-15 this play is based on those events

Theatre Advertisement - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (play) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing January 1995

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Old newpaper advertisments from an unknown source

Theatre Program - The Magic Flute (opera) performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 6 November 2003 performed by Melbourne Opera

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Newspaper Article - My dad wrote a porno(comedy) commencing at the Athenaeum Theatre August 18

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

newspaper article

Theatre brochure advertisement - Bremen Coffee; Shakespeare the Sadist by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and by Wolfgang Bauer (plays) by Rainer Werner Fassbinder performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre 2 in 1980

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Advertisement in a paper program for two plays performed at the Athenaeum Theatre 2 commencing 5 May 1980; advertisement from Season 27 brochure.

Historical information

Two contemporary German plays performed at Athenaeum 2: :Bremen Coffee" by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and "Shakespeare the Sadist" by Wolfgang Bauer. The advertisement is included in the Season 27 brochure for 1980.

web page - Amplification (dance) presented by BalletLab at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 9 September 1999

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Theatre Program - Minna Von Barnhelm (play) by Gotthold Lessing performed at Athenaeum Theatre commencing 10 February 1982

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

The program contains background information on author and play ; good condition

Historical information

First performed in 1767, the background of the play is the Seven Years' War in Europe. this production is an adaptation by Ray Lawler.

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

meduim poster - Elvis: an american triology (concert) starring Vic Trevino Jnr , Gino Monopoli and Steve Micheals performing one night only at the Athenaeum Theatre on the 7th of March

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Coloured poster

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

Theatre program - Hamlet (play) by William Shakespeare performed by Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre in 1980

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Paper program for a play performed at the Athenaeum Theatre commencing 30 April 1980

Historical information

Program includes a timeline for Shakespeare's life featuring production dates some of his plays 1564 - 1616

postcard Flyer - The BZW Collins Street Grand Music Promenade (Musical Variety Concert) commencing Sunday November 6th 1994

Melbourne Athenaeum Archives, Melbourne

Black and white postcard flyer Folder also contains a newspaper article, a venue program, folded poster and various letters of correspondence. One day on a magnificent street with: Roger Woodward, Geoffrey Tozer, Joan Carden, Melbourne String Quartet, Rita Reichman, Australian String Quartet, Elizabeth Campbell, Micheal Kieran Harvey,Rebecca Chambers, Merlyn Quaife, Helen Noonan, Jeannie Marsh, Margaret Haggart, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Douglas Lawrence, Spiros Rantos, Academy of Melbourne, Geofrey Paine, Brett Kelly, Haydn Chamber Orchestra, The Victorian Chorale, Faye Dumont Singers, David Berlin, Elizabeth Anderson and more ...

Historical information

Concerts were held at ten venues in Collins street grand music promenade venues:Baptist Church, St Michaels, ANZ Cathedral Room, 101 Collins Street, Kay Craddock bookshop, Georges Dining Room, Scot's Church, 161 Collins Street, the gold vaults of the Old Treasury Building. Note: It was recorded in the secretary's diary that concerts associated with the Collins Street Grand Music Promenade were held at the Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre all day on Sunday the 6th of November. This festival was organised by Greg Hocking and Peter Marks.