Stonnington History Centre

 Threads of History postcard.jpg

SearchHistory Matters seminars l Contact

The Stonnington History Centre is an archive dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the City of Stonnington and the former cities of Malvern and Prahran. The centre is a branch of the Stonnington Library and Information Service and is housed at Northbrook, located behind the Malvern Library.

The centre’s collection includes books, journal articles, photographs, Malvern building plans, maps, subdivision plans, rate records, newspapers, research notes, and general local history information. The online catalogue is a descriptive index to the collection which also includes scans of most photographs and some full text documents. Both Malvern Historical Society and Prahran Historical and Arts Society refer enquiries to the centre as they do not maintain separate local history collections. There is no separate Stonnington Historical Society.

Requests for information are welcome. Please note that fees apply for some services.

Donations of relevant material are invited from community organisations, businesses and individuals.

For further information, please contact us.


Threads postcard cropped Upcoming exhibition - Threads of History: Dressing Stonnington through time

Wander through the work of the seamstress, the tailor, the fashion designer and discover the clothing made and worn in Stonnington since the 1850s in the Stonnington History Centre's next exhibition.

Launch: Friday 11 November, 5.30pm - 8pm
Light refreshments provided. No bookings required.

Wednesday to Saturday, 12noon - 5pm
Friday 11 November - Saturday 10 December 2016

Northbrook Pop-up Gallery, 1257 High Street, Malvern (behind Malvern Library, at the rear of the Stonnington History Centre)

Carolyn-McDowall.jpgHistory Matters: Costume: Candlelight to Haute Couture

Carolyn McDowall has been involved in Australia’s creative sector for over thirty years, completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. A cultural and social historian and designer, she is writer and editor-in-chief for The Culture Concept Circle blog, and has produced many landmark community events. From 1992-2005 she was core lecturer on a Diploma Course: Design History & Decorative Arts in Sydney and Melbourne.

Join Carolyn McDowell for a lecture on the evolution of fashionable and societal concerns reflected in costume, including jewellery, from 1800 to today, in this special History Matters event held as part of Stonnington's [untitled] Literary Festival.

Wednesday 23 November, 10.30am - 12noon
Northbrook Pop-up Gallery, 1257 High Street, Malvern (behind Malvern Library, at the rear of the Stonnington History Centre)

Book online or call 8290 1360.

Green Street house Looking for a unique Christmas or birthday gift?

The Stonnington History Centre can produce a history of a residential or commercial property in Stonnington for you, or as a gift for a friend or loved one. For a fee of $270 we will compile a summary report and copies of historic documents (which may include photographs or building plans if available), delivered in a presentation folder. If you prefer, you can purchase a gift certificate from any of Stonnington's libraries, and we can discuss the property with the recipient.

See our page on researching houses and properties for more information and an order form.

Ancestry Library Edition has added new Victorian records to its website

Ancestry Library Edition has now added the following records, although only select dates are available: Sands & McDougall postal directories for Melbourne and Victoria; Victoria Police Gazettes; rate books for the former municipalities of Malvern and Prahran, as well as Caulfield, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Hawthorn, Kew and others; Lunatic Estates and Register; Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists; Deserter, Discharged and Prisoner Crew Lists; and the Index to Naturalisation Certificates. See the State Library of Victoria's blog for a full list of what is available. The State Library also subscribes to Findmypast, although you will need to visit the State Library to use its computers for access.

Victorian Community History Awards 2016

The Victorian Community History Awards, organized by Royal Historical Society of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria, recognize excellence in historical method in a variety of formats, including publications, exhibitions, documentary films and websites. Top prize this year went to the book These Walls Speak Volumes: A History of Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria by Pam Baragwanath and Ken James. Other winners included Eva de Jong-Duldig and Dr David Smith for their DVD Duldig Studio Documentaries Volume 1, and Judith Buckridge for her small publication The Village of Ripponlea. Visit the Royal Historical Society of Victoria's website for more information or to download the winner's booklet.

Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Thanks to the State Government of Victoria, you can now conduct free historical searches of the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages online. You can search for: births from 1853 to 1914; marriages from 1853 to 1942; deaths from 1853 to 1988; and church baptisms, marriages and burials from 1836 to 1853. You can also search the Events at Sea (Maritime) Index for events on ships bound for Victoria between 1853 and 1920.

Latest acquisitions

The History Centre has recently received further items from the archives of the St Andrews Gardiner Cricket Club. A list of items added to our catalogue in the last month can be found here.

The Stonnington History Centre is on Pinterest 

Discover more of the history of Stonnington through our Stonnington History Centre Pinterest.