The Bendigo Historical Society has a collection that is of historic significance to the region. It represents the unique story of Bendigo, whose gold-mining history had a widespread effect on the State and the Nation.

Our Collection

It is vital that the work already commenced on the cataloguing and preservation of the collection be continued and supported by the community, who will gain many benefits in return.

Important decisions regarding the future of the collection will need to be made for its long-term preservation and management, in the best interests of the community.

Bendigo is a major regional centre with the potential to become a ‘hub’ for the region’s cultural heritage where Australians and overseas visitors can come to learn about, experience and enjoy the exceptional stories Bendigo has to tell.


The collection includes more than 40,000 items:

  • An important photographic and document record of the city in terms of culture, business, and social development since 1851
  • 5000 books, journals and ledgers dating from 1860
  • A small collection of newspapers dating from 1860
  • Over 20.000 individual documents and paper-based ephemera
  • Over 400 pamphlets
  • A photographic collection of over 4000 items with the majority pre-1960
  • Approximately 1200 negatives and glass plates
  • 600 maps and architectural plans dating from 1870
  • 190 framed artworks
  • A collection of textiles and objects including pre-1910 furniture, some dating from 1870
  • More than 1200 items of clothing dating from the 1850s

The BHS is currently not accepting donations until further notice

When accepting donations again the Bendigo Historical Society will only accept donations of items that comply with the Current Collection Policy (April 21, 2021).

Acquisition of items for the BHS Collection.

Please send details of offers of items (with photograph if possible) to our postal address or email 

  • Email:   secretary@bendigohistory.com

Acquisition of items for the BHS Collection

  • Items for the Bendigo Historical Society collection are acquired primarily through donation, though occasionally items may be acquired through purchase, transfer or bequest.
  • Acceptance of an item for accession into the Society’s collection shall be at the discretion of the Society’s Committee of Management.
  • In considering an item for acquisition the Committee shall assess the item’s conformity with the collection criteria.
  • The Acquisition Committee must approve all donations and purchases.
  • The Society must be free to display, treat and where necessary deaccession collection material.
  • The Society will not accept conditional donations or bequests.
  • The Bendigo Historical Society will not accept permanent loans or long-term loans.
  • Short term loans of up to 12 months for the purpose of exhibition, research or interpretation will be allowed on a case by case basis. See 11. Loans for details.

Unsolicited items left with the Bendigo Historical Society without contact details will be treated as abandoned goods and dealt with accordingly. See Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 for further information

Leaving an item at the Society does not constitute acceptance of the item into the BHS Collection.

Refused objects will be returned to the owner.

A BHS Deed of Gift September 2022 must be completed.


BHS uses Victorian Collections as their Content Management System to catalogue the Collection.