Access to our art and heritage database is available for research and reference. A range of useful research resources for local and family history are available online through the Heritage at home program.
Discover your family history
Trace your history with Ancestry, British News, Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria, and much more through our Family History at Home page. Further online history resources are available through Port Phillip Library history resources and Port Phillip Heritage website research resources.
My reading life: a community exhibition online
Welcome to the My Reading Life online exhibition, for the 2020 Seniors Festival program. The exhibition shares the titles of favourite reads and why they inspire, absorb, educate or entertain and includes reading accoutrements such as bookmarks and bookends. We hope you enjoy the exhibition and the range of topics and responses in the titles chosen. A big thank you to this year’s entrants who participated in this online format.
Share free e-postcards from the Port Phillip City Collection
Stay connected with your City past and present. Share or download a selection of images from the City of Port Phillip's art and heritage collection. A unique way to make a connection, send a special message or simply to say hello.
View past and current exhibitions from the Port Phillip City Collection
- View the current Carlisle Street Arts Space exhibition, 'Vista'
- Explore old Montague through an online exhibtion, films and a virtual tour, with the 2020 Open House Melbourne program
- View archived exhibitions from Port Phillip City Collection art and heritage
Self-guided walking trails
Choose a self-guided walking trail brochure from the list below and take a journey into the cultural heritage, past and present of the Port Phillip area.
Our latest trail Mirka's St Kilda celebrates the local artistic and community legacy of Mirka Mora
- Solar system trail (mobile friendly)
- Home Front Trail
- Immigrants Trail
- Around Elwood Village.
- Foreshore trail (mobile friendly)
- Round the hill (Emerald Hill, South Melbourne)
- To market to market (South Melbourne market)
Painted (ghost) signs in Port Phillip
Help preserve our local cultural heritage
The City of Port Phillip has a rich mercantile history which is reflected in painted (ghost) signs on private and commercial buildings throughout the municipality. We are documenting these old advertising signs, and need your help!
Here's what to do if you find a painted (ghost) sign:
1. Take a photograph of the sign (the higher resolution the better)
2. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with location and photo attached
If you notice a sign in bad condition or that has been vandalised please let us know.
In 2014 and 2015 the locations, dimensions and conditions of thirty-two signs were recorded and the data uploaded to the Heritage Centre’s Historypin page.
We did this with heritage specialists, community members, and staff and students from The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (GCCMC) at the University of Melbourne.
Commemorative services for post-COVID-19 times
Friends of Elwood RSL hold annual ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services.
Port Melbourne ANZAC commemorative service is held in support of the RSL in conjunction with Port Melbourne Primary School each year on ANZAC Day at the Port Melbourne World War I Memorial Fountain, Beach Street.
A memorial honouring old stories was unveiled at Burnett Gray Gardens, Ripponlea on 15 November 2015 as part of local Remembrance Day commemorations. This memorial is dedicated to Victorian Jewish soldiers who served in World War I and II.
For more information visit VAJEX Australia.
St Kilda RSL Sub-branch holds annual ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services.
World War II sites of significance in the City of Port Phillip
These sites have a connection to World War II in the City of Port Phillip. This map is only a guide to the diverse places that relate to the war. Many are not able to be visited as a number are private or commercial buildings or have limited public access.
Local history and cultural heritage organisations
Through research, publication and exhibition these not-for-profit organisations increase our knowledge and understanding of the history and heritage of the Port Phillip area.
The St Kilda Historical Society Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1970 to foster interest in the history and heritage of St Kilda, Elwood, Balaclava and surrounding areas. The Society's website is a treasure trove of information about past and present St Kilda and its landmarks
The Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society was formed in August 1993 to:
- foster interest in and knowledge of the history of Port Melbourne
- collect and preserve items of historical interest relevant to Port Melbourne
- compile and keep historical records of the area.
The Middle Park History Group aims to:
- promote awareness and the preservation of Middle Park history
- involve and encourage the Middle Park community to actively participate in historical research
- seek from the community oral histories, photographs and moving images, documents and artefacts relevant to Middle Park history
- encourage research by government, educational institutions and others that can illuminate Middle Park history and culture
- seek resources, both financially and in-kind to enhance the work of the Group.
St Kilda Cemetery was established in 1855. It was one of the principal burial places south of the Yarra River during the nineteenth century and its heritage values have been recognised by the Commonwealth and State Governments. Friends of St Kilda Cemetery Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association.
It was formed in 1998 and incorporated in 1999 with the aim: To promote the conservation and appreciation of the St Kilda Cemetery as a place of remembrance, of historic importance and of natural beauty.
The St Kilda Botanical Gardens are bounded by Blessing, Herbert, Dickens and Tennyson Streets, St Kilda. The Gardens were first established in the 1860s and have a rich and colourful history.
The Friends of the St Kilda Botanic Gardens Inc. was established to sustain the bond between the St Kilda Botanical Gardens and surrounding community. Projects include:
- maintenance and restoration of the heritage gardens
- encouraging community members to become involved in the gardens and participate in activities such as
- hands-on gardening
- social events
- skills building
The Friends of Luna Park formed in 1991, united by a passion for Melbourne's Luna Park and concern for its survival. Volunteers set about gathering as much history as possible and successfully applied for national heritage protection of the site.
We are proud to have instigated and helped direct the massive restoration of the 1913 merry-go-round (carousel), led by Friend and artist, Patricia Mullins, while Leigh Hobbs created the entrance colour scheme. We guided the recreation of the face, created the concept for the Ghost Train makeover, and found sympathetic artists to create the scenic art.
We hope to see the Park again be a wonderland for both adults and children, with purpose-built structures and brilliant illusions.