Research the history of your house

We can help you research your home’s history, or do it for you for a fee.

My Stonnington Home Research Portfolio

The Stonnington History Centre can answer all your questions about a house or commercial property in the area with My Stonnington Home Research Portfolio. For a fee of $298 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. Please note that a minimum of three months’ notice is required. Gift certificates are also available for this service.

  • If you would like to conduct the research yourself, we have prepared a checklist to assist you in researching the history of your house or property. 
  • To find out more about My Stonnington Home Research Portfolio, phone 8290 1360 or fill in the form below.

Researching by yourself: a checklist

Research on your house may already exist 

Check the following:

Plans

  • Land subdivision plans may be found on the History Centre catalogue or at the State Library of Victoria.
  • Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) plans produced between the 1890s and 1950s have been digitised by the State Library of Victoria.
  • Historic drainage plans for individual properties in the former City of Prahran are held by South East Water (charges apply). The plans for the former City of Malvern are on microfiche at the Public Record Office Victoria.
  • Building plans for properties east of Kooyong Road (the former City of Malvern) that were constructed or altered between 1917 and around 1975 are held by the Stonnington History Centre. Equivalent plans for the area west of Kooyong Road (the former City of Prahran) have not survived. Newer plans are held by Council’s building department, which can be contacted on 8290 3516.

Council rate books and postal directories

View our rate books and postal directories page for more information.

Certificates of Title

Land titles can provide useful information relating to ownership of the land, rather than to a particular building on that land. The records are maintained by the Victorian government, and available to order on the Landata website. 

Street names

The creating and the renaming of street names in the City of Stonnington has been going on since the 1840s when the early tracks and stock routes were first given names. 

More information on the origin street names may be found in the History Centre catalogue.

Housing styles and architecture

Heritage Victoria and the Building Commission have developed a 'What House is That' publication covering nine key housing styles in Victoria. Wikipedia also has an overview of Australian architectural styles.

Also view Professor Miles Lewis’s databases on buildings, architects and Melbourne Mansions.

Library resources

  • If you have the names of some of the people who lived in your house, you can search genealogy databases such as Ancestry.com. A library edition of Ancestry.com is available for use in Stonnington’s libraries, free of charge.
  • Stonnington History Centre Catalogue: search under surname to see if we hold any correspondence or other records of relevance.
  • Our local history publications page has information on local history books such as Betty Malone's Discovering Prahran series and Walk Into History series.  
  • Trove: Search the National Library of Australia’s digitised newspaper database, using the street address, surname or house name to learn more about the people connected to your house.

What to do with your research

The History Centre is always interested in material related to people and properties in Stonnington. Consider donating a copy of your research, photographs and other documents for the use of future researchers.

Remember, you can also commission the Stonnington History Centre to undertake this research on your behalf, presented as a My Stonnington Home Research Portfolio.