Request access to collections items

Museums Victoria coordinates all requests for access to its collections, including Library and Archives.

Fossil of a periotic (ear bone) of a prehistoric mammalodontid baleen whale in a white cardboard storage box.
Fossilised Mammalodontidae indet periotic.

Many of the museum's collection objects can be viewed online, in our exhibitions, or in exhibition loans to other organisations.

We prioritise physical and research access to collections for source communities, donors, researchers, tertiary students and borrowing cultural institutions. Our capacity to provide physical access to collections for people with informal personal interests is limited.

Indigenous Cultures Collections

Collection access for Indigenous Cultures Collections is limited due to the volume and complexity of requests and the resources available to grant them. We therefore give priority to facilitating access requests from Aboriginal and Indigenous Communities.

All other requests, including requests by researchers, publishers and students are processed according to the order of the date received. We appreciate your patience as we work through the many inquiries that we receive.

Collection Loans

Organisations are encouraged to contact the museum well in advance (preferably 12 months or more) to discuss potential loans.

Library and Archives

Museums Victoria Library collection strengths include natural history in the fields of zoology, geology and palaeontology, Indigenous cultures, Australian history and culture, technology, colonial and other exhibition catalogues, museology, and other museum-related material. The library also houses a rare book collection specialising in early natural history titles.

Museums Victoria Archives document the administrative, collection, exhibition, education and research history of Museums Victoria. 

Museums Victoria's Library and Archives are open to the public by appointment. 

Our Library catalogue records are available on Trove.

Some of our Library items are available on Inter Library Loan from your local public library or institution's library.

Submit a request

All requests for in-person access to the Museums Victoria collections, library and archives must be made in writing.

Please include the following information in your request:

  • To which object, specimen, document, book, journal or collection do you require access?
  • Do you require physical access to the collection or just access to the collection records?
  • What is the exact nature of your research and what is the reason for your request for access to the object, specimen, document, book, journal or collection?
  • If your request is professional research on behalf of an organisation, please include its name
  • Please include any additional comments that may support your request

Museums Victoria receives a large number of Collection Access enquiries. Cultural, professional and academic enquiries receive priority. We cannot guarantee that collection access will be possible in all cases.

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Enquiry details All fields are optional unless specified
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