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

Donating items to the Collection

The Bendigo Historical Society accepts donations of items that comply with the Current Collection Policy (March 5, 2000).

To donate items to the Bendigo Historical Society Inc. please contact the Collection Manager at the Nolan Street Storage facility.

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 Bendigo Historical Society Donation Receipt must be completed.


BHS uses collection management and archiving software designed for museums, arts and heritage organisations.

Since 2002 volunteers working with the BHS collection have used this software to record the catalogue details of items in the BHS Collection.

By April 2020 more than 30,000 items had been added to the database. There are at least 20,000 items remaining to be catalogued. BHS currently has 10 licences used by 15 volunteers.