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The Victorian Collecting Sector

Victoria has two extraordinary and complementary resources that document the state’s fascinating history and rich cultural life. These are:

  • Victorian State Collections
  • Victorian community collections

The Victorian state collections have their origins in the early 1850s and are the result of legislative mandates to hold and exhibit collections for the Victorian public. These well-known collections now include over 34 million items with a financial value of more than $4.9 billion. They can be accessed at the venues and websites of the Victoria’s major cultural organisations:

The Victorian community collections also have their origins in the early 1850s but are less well known. They are distributed across the state in over 750 community organisations, such as metro-regional galleries, museums, historical societies, RSLs, sporting clubs, church, hospitals and schools. Together, these collections hold approximately 10 million items reflecting local and regional history and culture, and key state and national developments.

Until recently, it was difficult for the public to access information about the community collecting sector. Since 2009, the Victorian Collections project has been a pioneer in providing easy online access to over one hundred thousand objects from more than 500 organisations.

Stories about the Victorian state collections and the Victorian community collections are featured here on Victorian Collections, and on our sister site Culture Victoria.