Stonnington History Centre

 Armistice exhibition postcard

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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. Malvern Historical Society refers enquiries to the centre as it does not maintain a separate local history collection. 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.



Poppy image

Upcoming exhibition: Service and sacrifice at home and at war, 1914-1918 

This Armistice Day centenary exhibition includes costumes from the Dressing Australia Museum of Costume, and is brought to you by the Stonnington History Centre. Meet the locals who contributed to the war effort at home and overseas, through their letters, photographs and ephemera. Place a poppy sticker on the gallery wall to remember those who lost their lives.

25 October – 10 November 2018

Northbrook Pop-up Gallery, 1257 High Street, Malvern (behind Malvern Library)

Gallery hours: Thursday – Saturday 12pm – 5pm

Exhibition opening: Wednesday 24 October, 5pm – 7pm. Light refreshments provided. Guest speaker: Don Farrands, author of The Glass Soldier (2017)

Acknowledgement and disclaimer: This exhibition is partially funded under the Commonwealth Government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorations Program. The Commonwealth has not participated in the research, production or exercised editorial control over the exhibition or its contents. The views expressed and conclusions reached herein do not necessarily represent those of the Commonwealth, which expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content or accuracy of the exhibition.

Draft Heritage Strategy cover image

Have your say: Draft Heritage Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2029

The City of Stonnington’s Council Plan seeks to ‘Preserve Stonnington’s heritage architecture and balance its existing character with complementary and sustainable development’.

A draft Heritage Strategy and Action Plan has been prepared for 2018 - 2029. Council is inviting feedback from the community on this vision setting document.

Draft Vision: The City of Stonnington will be known for its collection of historic places that are used and valued by the community. The unique character of the municipality will be protected from detrimental change and enhanced over time. The cultural history of our local places will be celebrated.

You can download a copy of the Draft Heritage Strategy and make an online submission on the Connect Stonnington page. Submissions are open until Monday 15 October.

For further information please contact City Strategy on 8290 1395 or email

Victorian Seniors Festival 2018 logo  

The Stonnington History Centre is proud to be a part of the Victorian Seniors Festival

Suburbs at War cover History Matters: Suburbs at war

The Great War of 1914-1918 affected all avenues of suburban life. Its impact was profound and didn’t end in November 1918. At the end of the four-year centenary commemorations of the First World War, Dr Helen Doyle will reflect on the local impact of the war in the City of Stonnington (formerly the Cities of Malvern and Prahran). 

Dr Helen Doyle is an historian and heritage consultant who specialises in the histories of places and landscapes, and is interested in the ways that local communities value their history and heritage. Helen works as a heritage consultant at Context (now GML Heritage Victoria Pty Ltd). Her publication, Suburbs at War: The cities of Malvern and Prahran during the Great War (City of Stonnington, 2015), won the Centenary of World War I Award at the Victorian Community History Awards.

This special History Matters event is being held in conjunction with the Stonnington History Centre's upcoming exhibition, Service and sacrifice at home and at war, 1914-1918, which launches on Wednesday 24 October.

Wednesday 31 October, 10am – 11am

Bookings required. Book online or telephone 8290 1360.

Family groupFamily History Club - new timeslot

Curious about your ancestors? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced family history researcher, come and join our friendly monthly group where you can meet with fellow enthusiasts and explore the many genealogy resources available at the Stonnington History Centre. Due to popular demand, the Club now runs from 2pm-4pm on the first Wednesday of the month.

First Wednesday of the Month, 2pm-4pm: 7 November, 5 December. No bookings required.

By our deeds poster

By our Deeds: Reflections on terms in the Mayoral Office - full interviews now available

A series of interviews were conducted in 2016 by journalist Andrew Dodd with nine former mayors of the municipality of Stonnington, and the former municipalities of Prahran and Malvern. Those interviewed were Ann Morrow (the first female mayor of Malvern), Chris GahanJohn ChandlerBarry FentonAnne O’SheaRay LangLeonie Hemingway (nee Burke), Melina Sehr and the late Claude Ullin.

The interviews provide an insight into the nature of the tier of government that is most accountable to voters. The experiences of those who sit in the mayoral office is revealed through the stories they tell of the issues that brought them into council, of the torrid times during municipal amalgamation and the many battles lost and won.

Our By our Deeds page features podcasts of the full interviews with some participants.

Green Street houseWho's been sleeping in my Stonnington home?

Have you ever wondered who walked the hallway floorboards before you? Or maybe you'd like to know the year that your house was built. and whether it has ever been extended?

Stonnington's History Centre can answer all these questions and more about a house or commercial property in the area, with My Stonnington Home Research Portfolio. For a fee 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.

See our page on researching houses and properties for more information and an order form. You can also purchase a gift certificate for this service from any of Stonnington's libraries. 

Latest acquisitions

The History Centre recently received material relating to: former Malvern Mayor Cr Robert Sylvester and the Hendry family.

The Stonnington History Centre is on Pinterest 

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