Information & Communication

Information and communication technologies have played an important role in the development of Victoria since the early nineteenth century. The collection covers not only modern information-distribution technologies that store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data but also social, mechanical, and electromechanical based networks such as writing and printing, telegraphy, telephony, wireless and television. The collection has over 17,000 items and includes audio-visual material, documents, images and objects.


The Information and Communication Collection is one of two major information and communication collections held by state or national museums in Australia and is of national and international significance. The collection has its origins in the Industrial and Technological Museum founded in 1870. The Museum even conducted classes in telegraphy in the 1870s and 1880s. The collection expanded significantly with more active curatorship from the 1950s onwards, focusing on showing the development of particular technologies, especially in the areas of radio communications, computing and electronics.

It has particular strengths in computing technology, telegraphy and printing, with key items such as the CSIRAC computer and Alexander Graham Bell's experimental telephone. It also includes a number of items relating to the early development of communication and information technology.