Performing Arts Collection
Music Collection
Music Collection
The Arts Centre's commitment to collecting and documenting popular performance is well illustrated by its music collection. From jazz and folk to pop and rock, the collection has significant holdings ranging from those documenting ladies dance bands of the 1920s and 1930s through to The Kenn Brodziak Beatles Australian Tour Collection, the Troubadour Folk Music Collection and the Sunbury Festival Collection - each collection exploring a diverse aspect of popular music and culture.

The history of rock and pop, however, forms the core of the collection with photographs and costumes providing a potent reminder of live performances. Popular music from the 1970s to today is well represented  through posters, photographs and costumes donated by performers of the day. 

Although our focus is on the documentation of popular music, Australia's classical music heritage, both historical and contemporary, is well documented by a large collection of programmes and photographs including the Bonnie McCallum Collection which features visiting international performers from the 1930s to the 1960s such as soprano Lotte Lehmann, pianist Claudio Arrau and violinist Isaac Stern.

Music - Bands and Performers
Some iconic performers are represented here, from Nick Cave's major personal archive to Split Enz and Kylie Minogue costume collections and smaller holdings of material relating to Skyhooks and Hunters & Collectors. This section is also amongst our most diverse part of the collection with musicians ranging from classical instrumentalists and composers through to punk and metal bands.
Music - Events and Venues
This area of the music collection focuses on some pivotal popular music Festivals in Australia, from Sunbury 1972 to the rise of the Big Day Out in the 1990s. Complementing this area are the venues that have come and gone from local music scenes, including The Continental and the Troubadour Cafe.
Music - Organisations
Music Organisations featured in the area includes the JUKE Magazine Collection; a massive archive which includes photographs, press releases, news clippings, correspondence and advertising material documenting Australian rock music from 1974 to 1993.
Music - Photographers
Highlights in this part of the collection include photographs by Laurie Richards taken during the 1960s which chart the growing popularity of local performers such as Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye, Lonnie Lee and Johnny Devlin. International visitors were also captured with striking images being taken of Johnny Ray, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In this spirit we have also acquired live performance photography taken by Kathleen O'Brien during the 1970s, Peter Milne in the 1980s and Shellie Tonkin during the 1990s.
Circus Collection
Dance Collection
Opera Collection
Theatre Collection
Broadcast & Popular Entertainment