Heritage Research



Heritage research can take many forms. It might be looking at your family history (genealogy), it might be looking into the history of a place or into a group or type of activity. You can also add to our history by recording changes to your home to pass on to future owners or by taking photos of Ballarat and providing them, with a story, to collecting agencies.

Ballarat has many organisations which can assist you in your research endeavours, including:

  • Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) " Ballarat Archives Centre  has a wide collection of documents relating to Ballarat and its development. Guides on accessing the collection can be found on the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) Website.  If your enquiry is regarding family history research or historical research of a property or place, the City of Ballarat records that you are after may be available from Public Records Office Victoria (PROV) at the Ballarat Archives Centre.  Ballarat Archives Centre contact information, as well as other useful information, is provided below.  If you are unable to locate City of Ballarat records at the Ballarat Archives Centre, please contact the City of Ballarat records department:ballcity@ballarat.vic.gov.au

  • Ballarat Mechanics' Institute  has a state heritage listed collection included rare books and an extensive local newspaper collection.  

  • Ballarat Gold Museum  houses the collection of the Ballarat Historical Society and includes state heritage registered mining rights. The collection includes gold samples, nuggets and coins, photographs, Chinese decorative art, textiles and social history, Aboriginal and Pacific Island artefacts, postcards, Artworks relevant to the goldfields, pioneering furniture, Eureka artefacts, a costume collection and rare book collection. 

  • Art Gallery of Ballarat  houses a collection of artwork depicting Ballarat from the gold rush to today.  

  • M.A.D.E

  • University of Ballarat  has an art and historical collection (over 10,000 items are catalogued) which documents the development of Ballarat through its educational institutions including:
  • the School of Mines Ballarat (one of the oldest tertiary institutions in Australia and thefirst tertiary institute for    technical training in Australia);
  • Ballarat Teachers' College;
  • Ballarat Junior Technical School;
  • Ballarat Girls Technical School;
  • State College Victoria (Ballarat);
  • Ballarat Institute of Education;
  • Ballarat College of Advanced Education; and
  • Ballarat University College.
  • Local Historical Societies and Museums Ballarat has many historical societies and themed museums such as aviation or trams. Links to many of these groups can be found at Heritage Events & Opportunities 

  • National Trust 

  • Ballarat Tram Museum 

  • Australian Catholic University Ballarat Campus - education, health sciences, ethics, theology, social justice, philosophy and palliative care. 

  • Ballarat City Council Archives Service - planning and building records from 1945 onwards, rate records, minutes, agendas, council records and correspondence and some cemetery records. 

  • Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative 

  • Ballarat and District Geneaological Society 

  • Ballarat Historical Society 

  • Sovereign Hill - recreation of life on the goldfields 

  • Her Majesty's Theatre Ballarat - operating since 1875.  Collection includes some ephemera and theatrical records. 

  • Kirri Barreet : Ballarat Aboriginal Cultural Experience and Gallery 

  • Friends of the Anson Museum - aircraft, wireless equipment, relics and information on RAAF in Ballarat 

  • Ballarat Aviation Museum - aircraft, wartime relics and information on the wireless air gunners school 

  • Ballarat Sports Museum - sports museum and sports hall of fame 

Online photo resources

Central Highlands Library Top of document.

The Central Highlands Library has many books relating to the history and heritage of Ballarat. A snapshot of these publications is listed including the call number. More information is available at Central Highlands Library.


  • All that glitters : the growth of Ballarat Victoria - AR 994.53 ALL
  • Ballaarat : golden city 994.53 REI
  • Ballaarat newspaper articles : vol. 1 AR 994.53 MAN
  • Ballarat : a brief history AR994.53 STR
  • Ballarat & district 1920-1940, an oral history : women in the community 994.53 BAL
  • Ballarat and district 1920-1940 . vol. 2. Country towns, country life. : an oral history 994.53 BAL
  • Ballarat and district 1920-1940 . vol. 6. Hotels, betting & the law. : an oral history AR994.53 BAL
  • Ballarat and district in 1901 : a concise history of its rise, progress and present prosperity in its mining, engineering, agriculture, architecture, art, trade and manufactures AR994.53 BAL
  • Ballarat and district pioneers and old residents directory 1837-1855 AR 994.53 GER
  • Ballarat, from bullions to begonias AR 994.53 SAY
  • Ballarat hotels : past and present AR994.53 HAR
  • Ballarat : the formative years R994.53 STR
  • Cornish pioneers of Ballarat. : 2 vols AR AR994.53 DEL
  • The Eureka encyclopaedia REF994.57 CORFI
  • Gold at Ballarat: the Ballarat East goldfield, its discovery and development AR 622.342 STA
  • History of Ballarat AR 994.53 WIT


  • Camp Street, Ballarat : from Eureka to Federation! - a guide to its history and buildings AR 994.53
  • Ballarat and environs, building community, sustaining heritage : conference proceedings 1991 - AR AR994.53 DAR
  • Vernon collection : a selection of architectural drawings AR AR708.9945 BAL
  • Ballarat : a guide to buildings and areas 1851-1940 AR AR720.99453 BAL
  • Ballarat & district school buildings photographs [microform] Ballarat & district school buildings photographs [microform]
  • Recollections : 20th century Ballarat AR 919.457 HARRI.
  • The School of Mines and Industries Ballarat : � a guide to the heritage buildings at the SMB campus in Lydiard St South AR 378.945 BOAST
  • Walking Ballarat : Lydiard Street, Sturt Street, Camp Street, precincts AR 994.53 NAT


  • Ballarat historic landscapes trees and gardens : part 1 AR712.5099453 LUM
  • Ballarat - the garden city : views of Ballarat's streets, scenes and statuary AR 994.53 BAL
  • Exploring Ballarat's garden heritage 712.6 TAF

 Useful Links

 House IconBallarat Heritage Database

Materials Conservation Top of document.

Are you interested in learning how to keep your own heritage - photo's, clothing, papers, art and furniture?

This can be a good start to appreciating heritage.

Information on collecting, interpreting and conserving objects can be found at:


Property Research Top of document.

Ballarat Archives Centre

Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.  Location: Level One, State Government Offices, Cnr Doveton and Mair Streets, Ballarat.  Telephone: 9348 5600 (Victorian Archives Centre).   You can also find out specific information pertaining to records at the PROV website.

Historical & Family History Research

Please visit the webpage researching heritage for an extensive list of organisations and websites that can assist your research. 

City of Ballarat Building Department

If the property you are researching is not a council property and is privately owned, customers may apply for a Building Archive request through the Building Department.  There is a cost for this service.  Please phone Council's Building Department on 5320 5500 to arrange.

Council Property, Local Laws, Council Services

If your enquiry is regarding graffiti, trees, traffic, or other Council services lodge a request online via eServices or alternatively phone Council during business hours Monday to Friday on 5320 5500.

If your enquiry is not regarding any of the above, please contact the City of Ballarat Heritage Team online via eServices