Images & Image-making

Over 275,000 items tell the history of still and moving images in Victoria through the lens of culture and technology, placing local history within an international context. The collection examines the role of images in society and investigates the social practices and technological processes that have emerged around images. It engages with all aspects of the life-cycle of the photographic image - from the manufacture of products for making images, to the practice of making images, to the marketing and consumption of images. It is comprised of an extensive and diverse assemblage of still and moving images, as well as artefacts and intangible heritage.


The images and image making collection is significant in a number of ways both nationally and internationally. It has a diverse and highly representative collection of image formats and processes and is also important for its historical and thematic content which documents home and community life, industry, and people and identity. The collection contains images by a number of key Australian and international photographers including: Wolfgang Sievers, Mark Strizic, Julia Margaret Cameron, Dr R.L. Maddox, Hill and Adamson, Roger Fenton and George Wilson Bridges.

There are a number of significant sub-collections including: nineteenth-century early format photographs, the Francis Pre-Cinema Collection, the Biggest Family Album, Bill Boyd Collection, Laurie Richards Collection, H.V. McKay Collection, Vickers Ruwolt Collection, Robert Harvie Collection, G.H. Myers Collection and the A.J. Campbell Collection. It also incorporates the Kodak Heritage Collection, which represents the history of the Australian photographic manufacturing and retail industry and is unique among Australian and international museum collections.