Yarra Plenty Regional Library provides public library service to the local government areas of Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea in Melbourne's north. The library service covers an area of 983 square kilometres and includes metropolitan, urban fringe and rural populations.
The local history focus includes past and present boundaries. Physical local history collections are maintained at the four libraries outlined below.
Find resources on Local History
Books: search the catalogue for your subject of interest to find items in our local history collections.
Newspaper Articles: search the newspaper index on the catalogue by selecting 'Advanced Search' and 'Newspaper Index' as the item material type in the options listed. We have Leader newspapers 1966-2016 at some libraries.
Photos and Documents: conduct a Quick search of this material in the catalogue or use the 'Subject' and 'Advanced' options.
Visit the local history collections (Diamond Valley, Eltham, Ivanhoe or Mill Park) and ask staff for access. Items can only be accessed in the library, during opening hours.
The collection at Diamond Valley Library covers the former Shire of Diamond Valley, including Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Watsonia, Yarrambat, and parts of Bundoora. It includes a considerable amount of material relevant to the present City of Banyule and Shire of Nillumbik.
Main themes represented include early settlers, development of local townships and communities, local institutions and organisations, urban development and housing, and the development and construction of shopping centres and other community facilities; social and urban planning issues, including the provision of services; the natural environment, and the development of library services; local writers, and the Diamond Valley Art Collection. The Diamond Valley Leader is held in hard copy from 1966–2016.
The collection at Eltham Library has a main focus on the Shire of Nillumbik, but it is primarily on the area covered by the former Shire of Eltham, including Kinglake and part of the present City of Banyule.
Main themes represented in the collection are early settlers, development of local townships and communities, gold mining, local institutions and organisations, the Eltham lifestyle, and mud-brick building; the natural environment, cultural heritage, Art, Montsalvat, Library services, and municipal planning.
The Alan Marshall collection includes publications of the famous Eltham local historian and writer.
The collection also includes items relating to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection held in partnership with Eltham District Historical Society.
City of Banyule
Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub
The Ivanhoe Local History Collection focuses on the history of that part of the present City of Banyule that fell within the former City of Heidelberg prior to 1964.
Main themes represented in the collection include early settlers, local institutions and organisations, municipal council activities, urban development and housing, including Walter Burley Griffin estates and houses; Melbourne Olympics 1956, and Olympic Village; Art — the Heidelberg School, Heritage — built and landscape, social and urban planning issues, including the provision of services; the natural environment, the development of library services; and Indigenous heritage (to a limited extent). The Heidelberg Leader is held in hard copy 1966–2016.
Find the history room upstairs where you can also access the Genealogy Reference collection.
City of Whittlesea
Mill Park Library
The collection was founded by the Whittlesea Historical Society in 1983 when copies of original documents were donated to Lalor library. Named for the local historian, J. W. Payne, the collection is now based at Mill Park Library. The collection covers the past and current boundaries of the City of Whittlesea.
The Community Portrait collection includes documents, maps, plans, photographs, portraits, and certificates relating to the former Shire and City of Whittlesea Council, and its residents and places including local churches, properties, transport, and oral histories.
Main themes represented in the collection include early farming communities in scattered settlements and townships, early/prominent local families, Yan Yean water supply system, early institutions including schools, Janefield Colony; the development of library services, municipal council activities, urban development, including the Peter Lalor housing co-operative settlement, and later housing estates; multicultural communities, including the early German community at Westgarthtown (Thomastown); planning issues of urban development, including impact on the environment, and the provision of services; natural environment, local artists; and sport.
The collection also includes items relating to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The Whittlesea Leader is held in hard copy from 1965–2016.
Learn more about the Indigenous History of Melbourne's northeast; the Wurindjeri willam clan.
The accredited Andrew Ross Museum, founded in 1993, is located in the old teachers’ residence of Kangaroo Ground Primary School, an 1870s heritage listed building opposite the Kangaroo Ground General Store.
The main focus of the museum is archiving, preserving and displaying of Kangaroo Ground’s heritage. A large photographic collection together with numerous documents and research information can be viewed by the community. View website for opening times.
Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute
The Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute is an historic building built in 1887, set in the heart of the township of Arthurs Creek. The Management Committee are dedicated to the preservation of this facility and the collection of historical memorabilia it contains.
Greensborough Historical Society aim is to collect, catalogue, preserve and share the history and heritage of Greensborough and its environs from the earliest records to the present time. Whilst called Greensborough Historical Society, its coverage is not limited to that area alone and includes Greensborough, Watsonia, Macleod, Montmorency, Briar Hill, St Helena, Lower Plenty, and Bundoora. Visit their collection on Victorian Collections
Heidelberg Historical Society
Heidelberg Historical Society are a varied group of people with a shared interest in understanding and preserving the history of Heidelberg and surrounding suburbs. They maintain a varied collection and exhibition space at the Old Heidelberg Courthouse which is open on Sunday afternoons.
Hurstbridge and District Local History Group
Hurstbridge and District Local History Group operate out of the historic Allwood Neighbourhood House. They endeavour to collect, record, collate and preserve the Hurstbridge township's rich, varied and ongoing social, environmental and built history. Their collection relates to the Wurundjeri Willam clan, early settlers, fruit growing industry, and development of Hurstbridge township.
Nillumbik Historical Society
Nillumbik Historical Society maintains a large archive of photographs, artefacts and historical documents relating to people who have lived in the area, and places in the district they lived, farmed, and mined, with a particular focus on the wider area around Diamond Creek. They occupy the historic Ellis Cottage which is currently closed to visitors. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plenty Historical Society
The vision of the Plenty Historical Society is to create and nurture an active and sustainable organisation that is assertive in preserving the unique natural and historical environment and culture of Plenty and district in complement with the Nillumbik Shire Council’s heritage overlay.
Warrandyte Historical Society was established in 1976. Over the decades, loyal bands of members have cared for the collection and the museum housed in the historic Old Post Office. They have opened the museum at weekends, assisted in archiving the records, helped at working bees, and provided support when needed.
Whittlesea Historical Society
The Whittlesea Historical Society aims to:
Petition on behalf of local historic sites, buildings, trees etc to Council or government
Undertake and promote the research of our history
Collect, conserve, compile and make available historic records
Establish and maintain a library and archive of that information
Disseminate knowledge of our history through lectures, publications, exhibitions, excursions and other means
Provide a means for people interested in the area’s history to meet, discuss and participate.
Yarrambat Historical Society
The aim of the Yarrambat Historical Society is to preserve and perpetuate the heritage of the Yarrambat community for future generations.
The Society is developing the Yarrambat Heritage Museum which sits on 2.5 hectares of land at Yarrambat Park. The museum is open by appointment. Contact: email@example.com