Migration Collection




The Migration Collection consists of over 5,500 items which provide an overview of the many and diverse people who have migrated to Victoria since the 1830s, their motivations for coming, the material they brought with them, items accumulated on the journey, and the objects they made and acquired after settling here. The Numismatics, Transport and Cultural Diversity collections also contain objects which have direct relevance to the Migration Collection.

The Migration Collection provides an overview of the many and diverse people who have migrated to Victoria since the 1830s. The material in the collection of over 5,500 items includes personal effects, domestic and work-related items, clothing and other textiles, luggage, shipboard souvenirs, photographs, art and craft works, protest ephemera, and personal and immigration documents. There is a growing collection of documents relating to Australian immigration policy and promotion, and the processes by which people are selected, managed and organised, which provides a critical bridge between the personal narratives and the narratives of nations - Australia's and others. The collection also includes material relating to local community activity and migration such as cultural organisations formed to maintain cultural traditions; government and community support and administrative groups, such as the Good Neighbour Council; and protest and political movements, for and against immigration, multiculturalism and diversity. Groups of objects in the collection tend to relate to individuals, families, communities and organisations. Almost 60 per cent of the collection consists of around15 sub-collections of 50 items or more. There is also a modest oral history collection within the collection, relating to individual and family migration stories, as well as discreet oral history projects such as the Immigration and Artistic Practice Collection, the South Melbourne Tramworkers project, Melbourne Migrant Women Textile Workers, and Australian and Migrant-born Female Glory Box Experiences. Acquisition of material is primarily by donation. Key items and groups in the collection include: Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, 1840s-60s, documenting philanthropic and assisted-migration work of Chisholm in Australia and England; weaving loom, brought to Australia by Latvian displaced couple Anna and Ervins Apinis in 1950; standard (flag) of the Minyip Caledonian Society made in 1906; Ada Perry craft collection, consisting of toys, quilts and rugs created by an English in regional Victoria between the 1930s and 1960s; Greek popular shadow puppet theatre collection, consisting of around 130 shadow puppets, props and accessories made between 1940 and 1960 in Greece and performed in Melbourne by Karagiozis master Dimitri Katsoulis; collection of Japanese cultural items created and used by Masumi Hiraga-Jackson in Melbourne from the 1990s including shimotsuke paper dolls, and Noh theatre and tea ceremony objects; culturally-specific costumes, representing 19 cultural groups from the 19th century to the present day; approximately 100 objects from people who migrated to Australia after the 1956 Hungarian uprising and over 400 objects relating to Italian immigration acquired through the Cultural Agreement between the Museum and the Italian Historical Society CO.AS.IT.; and the Enterprise Migrant Hostel Springvale collection.

Please direct access requests via Museum Victoria's Discovery Centre


1830-2010; Albanian Immigration; Anti-Nazi Protests; Anti-Racism; Apartheid; Apprenticeships; Argentinian Immigration; Arranged Marriages; Artworks; Assimilation; Assisted Immigration; Asylum seekers; Australian Citizenship Act; Austrian Immigration; Baltic Immigration; Belgian Immigration; British Immigration; Bulgarian Immigration; Cambodian Immigration; Ceremonial Costumes; Chilean Immigration; Chinese Immigration; Citizenship; Convicts; Croatian Immigration; Cultural Identity; Cultural Maintenance; Cultural Traditions; Czechoslovakian Immigration; Danish Immigration; Detention Centres; Diaries; Discrimination; Displaced Persons; Dowries; Dutch Immigration; Education; English Immigration; Estonian Immigration; Ethnic Groups; German Immigration; Glory Boxes; Gold rushes; Government Policies; Great Depression, 1929-1939; Greek Immigration; Handcrafts; Hungarian Immigration; Immigrant Shipping; Immigrant Voyages; Immigration; Immigration & Ethnic Affairs; Immigration Debates; Immigration Policies; Immigration Selection; Immigration Voyages; Indigenous Activism; Internment camps; Irish Immigration; Italian Immigration; Japanese Immigration; Jewish Immigration; Kurdish Immigration; Language Teaching; Laotian Immigration; Latvian Immigration; Lebanese Immigration; Lithuanian Immigration; Macedonian Immigration; Maltese Immigration; Mandatory Detention of Immigrants; Marriage Customs & Rites; Migrant Camps; Migrant Hostels; Migrant Reception Centres; Migrants; Migration & Settlement; Multiculturalism; Muslim Immigration; Narcotic Drug Usage; National Costumes; National Identity; Nationalism; Performing arts; Phillipine Immigration; Polish Immigration; Political Prisoners; Post War Migration; Prison Camps; Prisoners of War; Protectionism; Proxy Brides; Proxy Weddings; Racial Discrimination Act; Racism; Refugees; Return Migration; Rituals & Beliefs; Romanian Immigration; Scottish Immigration; Scouting Movement; Ship Memorabilia; Shipboard Travel; Shipping; Shipping Lines; Slovenian Immigration; Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme; South African Immigration; Station Pier; Swiss Immigration; Ten Pound Tourists; Trade unions; Traditional Costumes; Traditonal Customes; Transylvanian Immigration; Turkish Immigration; Ukrainian Immigration; Vaccination; Vietnamese Immigration; Visual arts; War Brides; White Australia Policy; Working life; World War I, 1914-1918; World War II, 1939-1945; Xenophobia

Coverage Spatial

Austria; Poland; China; Chile; South Africa; Victoria, Australia; Japan; Italy; Germany

Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:42

2011-03-31 18:32