The Athenaeum Library turns 185 this year – have you ever been?

The Melbourne Athenaeum Library is almost as old as Melbourne itself. Archivist, Fiona Moore, will present a lively and interactive discussion about the role the Ath has played in the cultural life of Melbourne since 1839.

In November, the Melbourne Athenaeum will celebrate its 185th anniversary. The building at 188 Collins St housed Melbourne’s first museum, library and gallery and the first meetings of the City Council. As Melbourne developed from a fledgling colony in need of a mechanics institution to educate the first settlers to a thriving metropolis, the Ath has changed to meet the city’s inhabitants needs.

For the past century, two much-loved theatres have entertained audiences and provided opportunities for a range of Australian musicians, actors, performers and technicians. Our beloved library has provided members and visitors with a historic setting and a vibrant collection across the 185 years. Music performances in the library and artists and playwright residencies have boosted careers and profiles.

Across these cultural, literary and artistic pursuits, our archival collections tell lots of tales – come along and hear them!

Celebrating 50 years of the Victorian Heritage Register 

Event date

Event Details

Athenaeum Theatre, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria

The Library is on Level 1.



Entry fees:
Prebooking required
Attendance limit:
50 - 100
Onsite facilities:
Other things
you need to know:
We have a heritage lift with limited accessibility for wheelchairs