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Burke Museum

Phone: (03) 0400 558 866
Burke Museum Website

About the organisation

The Burke Museum has been described as a ‘museum of museums’.

Established in 1863 during a period of enthusiastic collecting, many members of the original museum committee were keen collectors. As a result the Burke museum reflects Victorian-style collecting, with natural history (including geology, taxidermy and conchology) as well as significant collections of Indigenous objects from South-eastern Australia and Fiji, and many original cabinets and furnishings.

The museum holds its original records, allowing us to track the history of many of the objects still in its collections.

The later nineteenth century saw additions to the building with a new wing and expansion of the collection. In 1979, the Street of Shops was opened, realising the vision of Curator, Roy Harvey. At this time a new north wing was also added. The addition of the Street of Shops began a new period of collecting, when Roy Harvey called to the community for donations. The response resulted in an influx of material adding to the town history and development, and local identities collections. The Shops and their contents reflect another period in museology.

The museum has continued to collect and now houses a large photographic collection, costume, documents and objects, as well as being the north-east repository for the Public Records Office, Victoria. Displays tell stories that include the Kelly gang, goldmining, the Chinese community on the goldfields, Wars of the twentieth century, the wheelbarrow push from Beechworth to Mt. Buffalo and life in the north-east.

More information about the organisation and its collection