Do you know about Melbourne’s oldest cultural institution – the Melbourne Athenaeum Incorporated?The Melbourne Athenaeum Incorporated

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Do you know about Melbourne’s oldest cultural institution – the Melbourne Athenaeum Incorporated?

Playing a key role in Melbourne's cultural and artistic life since 1939, the Melbourne Athenaeum has a wealth of archives and stories. Join archivist Susie Shears while she uses key pieces from our archival collection to illustrate our historic and ongoing theatrical and literary contribution.

Established just four years after Melbourne itself, the Melbourne Athenaeum has enriched Melbourne’s cultural and educational life by fostering public engagement with culture and the arts and supporting creativity, learning and connection.

Home to two theatres and a subscription Library – one of Melbourne’s hidden gems – we have amassed a wonderful collection of artefacts, artworks, books, documents and furniture which span the myriad of events and activities which have gone on within the historic building at 188 Collins St.

Former Cultural Collections Coordinator at the University of Melbourne, Susie Shears, assessed the significance of the collection in 2022 and will chat about what she found when she delved into this historic record of our theatres and Library and former art gallery and museum.

Our event will include a self-guided tour of our historic Library and reading room and the archives we have on display.

Event date

Event Details

188 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria

Our building is next door to the Melbourne Town Hall and across the road from the Regent Theatre, near the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets.



Entry fees:
Prebooking required 9650 3100
Attendance limit:
50 - 100