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Melbourne Museum

Carlton Gardens, Carlton
Daily 10am - 5pm
closed Good Friday & Christmas Day
Website: Melbourne Museum


Housed in a modern building in the Carlton Gardens and at the rear of the Royal Exhibition Building, this is Melbourne's major museum.

For many years its star attraction has been the stuffed racehorse, Pharlap.

Children's Activities at Melbourne Museum

Take part in a selection of regular activities @ Melbourne Museum including

Melbourne MuseumChildren's Gallery

The Children's Gallery will surprise, delight & intrigue children & their families. A world created especially for 3-8 year olds; the fascinating story of growth unfolds. Discover how plants, animals & humans change as they grow at the Big Box. 




Some forthcoming events at Melbourne Museum:

Melbourne Museum - Free monthly talk - Reel History: A Look at Life Through Motion Film

Motion film is one of the most pervasive media we have for portraying life. We are all, in one way or another, influenced by the moving image through cinema, television, the internet and the smart phone. Museums Victoria has a rich collection of film, categorized as home movies, scientific recordings, and film of industry and significant historical events. This lecture will highlight the role of non-fiction film as ‘storyteller’.

The three speakers in this lecture will present segments from a selection of film, including one of the earliest extant ethnographic films made. Each of the films embodies a story, made unique by the medium used to create it. In this sense film is a powerful means of creating, preserving and sharing our history. This lecture is an opportunity to view excerpts of film from the collections which has only recently become accessible as an outcome of the Museum’s audio-visual digitisation program. These include: An Arrernte Welcoming Party, Alice Springs, 1901; A Trip to Hermannsburg and Central Australia, 1939; Kodak Australasia footage, Melbourne, 1960s. 


  • Dr Philip Batty, Senior Curator of Anthropology in the Humanities Department, Museums Victoria.
  • Lorenzo Iozzi, Senior Collection Manager of the History & Technology images collections in the Humanities Department, Museums Victoria.
  • Fiona Kinsey, Senior Curator of Images & Image Making, in the Humanities Department, Museums Victoria

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Melbourne Museum - Free monthly talk - Preparing to Roam the Dome: Stories from the Royal Exhibition Building

Looking out at Melbourne from the Royal Exhibition Building’s dome promenade was an experience enjoyed by thousands of Melburnians in the nineteenth century. Learn about the forthcoming Protection and Promotion project, which will reinstate the dome experience for a new generation.

Hear from one of the project architects and the curator as they reveal the conservation and other works involved in enabling access to the dome. Then journey through the rich and eclectic history of the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, with stories from some of the objects that will form part of the interpretative experience for the project.


  • Michelle Stevenson is Senior Curator of Politics & Society at Museums Victoria. She is passionate about history and enjoys exploring new ways of connecting objects, stories and the community.
  • Anne Marie Treweeke is an Associate Director at Lovell Chen Architects and Heritage Consultants. She has over 20 years’ experience as an architect and master planner, delivering award-winning projects in heritage contexts.

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Melbourne Museum - Free monthly talk - The Astronomical Lantern Slide and the Visual Communication of Popular Science

The astronomical magic lantern show was a well-known form in the nineteenth century. Lantern slides and visual communication were central to the performances of lecturers from the local schoolmaster to the international celebrity Richard Proctor.

For audiences of the nineteenth century, the magic lanterns projecting slides of stars and planets were a telescope on the universe, while for lecturers these technologies extended the range of cultural tropes that could be drawn into their performances.

This talk traces the development of the astronomical lantern set and its use in Australia, with a focus on the cultural interpretations of popular astronomy.


Dr Martin Bush has recently completed a PhD on the history of popular astronomy in Australia in the era of the lantern slide. Prior to this, he worked at Museums Victoria for thirteen years, including as Curator of Scientific Instruments and Antarctic History, and as Technical Programmer and Scientific Communicator on the Melbourne Planetarium production team. These interests have combined in his fascination with astronomical Magic Lantern slides. Martin is now a Research Associate in the Humanities Department at Museums Victoria. 

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Melbourne Museum - Free monthly talk - Curatorial Conversations: Behind the Scenes Stories on Acquiring Artefacts

In this presentation Humanities curators will discuss how material comes to their attention and how it becomes part of the museum’s collections. They reveal some of the rich and remarkable stories behind recent acquisitions.

Telephone conversations out of left field, calls to action via social media, carefully nurtured community relationships and auction anxiety. Whether we’re collecting objects and stories that record Indigenous cultures, artefacts that document the historical experience of war, Invisible Farmer oral histories that re-write Australian farming history, or any other material relating to our wide-ranging collections, Museums Victoria’s Humanities curators work in diverse ways to acquire and preserve material for future generations.

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