Online resources for Heritage at home

Explore the history of your local area through a range of historic and locally produced online resources, including:

Essays, E-publications, Film and video, Indexes, Oral histories, Port Phillip City Collection, Things to do, Other useful websites


Melbourne's See Yup Kuan Ti Temple: A historical overview, a research paper by Dr Sophie Couchman, Historian and Curator published in the "Southern Chinese Diaspora Studies Journal, vol 8. 2019, ANU". 


Heritage reports, catalogues and historic publications.

St Kilda Mansions: Photographs by Donald McDonald

An exhibition of photographs from the Port Phillip City Collection, curated by historian and architect Peter Johnson for the Port Phillip Heritage Centre in 2018. The photographs taken by Melbourne photographer Donald McDonald (c.1830-1880) illustrate some of the grand St Kilda houses built from 1850 until 1872 a period of significant growth and prosperity for the colony of Victoria.  

Recalling the Journey

A collection of stories about immigrants and refugees, who came to Australia by ship.

Town Hall Stories 

The Town Hall Stories e-books provide a background to the establishment of the former municipalities of Port Melbourne, St Kilda and South Melbourne and the building of the three town halls, which were central to municipal civic and social life.

Film and video

Speaking stories 1

Tune in to these locally significant digital stories about Port Phillip’s rich heritage, told by five local authors from the Seniors Festival, 2015 Port Phillip Writes Publication

Speaking stories 2

Six local authors contributed their stories to this digital story project, part of the Senior's Festival, 2015 Port Phillip Writes publication.

Montague: a community lost and found

Filmed in 2019 by Traces Films, Montague; a community lost and found examines the legacy of the South Melbourne enclave of Montague from 1900 to the 1960s through interviews with former residents, their family photographs and photographs from the Port Phillip City Collection.

Montague School

An interview with a former Principal of Montague Continuing Education Centre and Special School historian, Tony Thomas. The film includes a tour of the school and historic images.

The Gatwick: Home is more than four walls

Filmed, Edited and Directed by Rachel Edward, Produced by Robyn Szechtman. In May 2017 The Gatwick Private Hotel closed its doors to the people it has been housing for over  80 years.  


St Kilda Historical Correspondence A-Z

This index provides access to some of our earliest letters and other documents dating from the period between the formation of the St Kilda municipality in 1857 and the early 20th century. The correspondence provides a unique snapshot of the concerns of St Kilda residents and Council during this time.

Lost soldiers of South Melbourne an A-Z guide

The Lost Soldiers of South Melbourne is a list of those World War 1 soldiers who didn’t return home.  The names come from a large Honour Board in the foyer at the eastern entrance of the South Melbourne Town Hall.  The board has over 3000 names on it; those with a star next to their name were casualties.

The Vardy Maps

The Vardy maps are the original plans of the Borough of St Kilda surveyed and compiled under the direction of the Borough Council by J.E.S. Vardy, surveyor in 1873. The 42 maps were lithographed and published by Hamel & Ferguson, Melbourne.

Significant places in Port Phillip

People of the past

The City of Port Phillip has many fascinating figures in its history. Please let us know if you would like to suggest notable people to add to this page. 

Oral histories

The Living Heritage Project aims to acknowledge people, within their lifetime, who are active in the community and whose knowledge and way of life contribute to the sense of place and history in the City.

Dugga Beazley

Dot Elsum 

Port Phillip City Collection

The Port Phillip City Collection includes the Heritage Collection, Visual Art Collection - incorporating Public Art, the Corporate Collection and Monuments and Memorials.

Search the Port Phillip City Collection

Things to do

Painted (ghost) signs in Port Phillip

The business history of the City of Port Phillip is reflected in a number of historic painted (ghost) signs on private and commercial buildings throughout the municipality. We are documenting these signs on History pin, and need your help! Find out how you can participate.

Other useful websites to browse

Trove, National Library of Australia 

Trove is a national online database that aggregates digital resources from libraries around Australia and includes: Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more.

Trove runs a text correction activity inviting the public to help fix the mistakes that occur in documents and newspapers through the scanning process, its great fun and makes the downloadable transcripts of these documents readable.They welcome participation, for more information,

State Library of Victoria Digital Pool

Access to historic out of copyright digitised images free to download.

Hidden Melbourne 

Going behind the scenes to Melbourne's hidden places. Photographers Barney Meyer and Mark Hassed have documented a wide range of sites within Melbourne's built environment. Hidden Melbourne presents fascinating tours of derelict buildings, panoramic city views from significant vantage points and historic time lines that draw on various Melbourne collections for historic photographs.


Image: Men working in telegraph offices, 1949, State Library of Victoria, Accession no: H2010.120/40



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