Performing Arts Collection
Music Collection
Music Collection
Arts Centre Melbourne'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.

Poster for Sunbury Festival, 1972
Hot pants worn by Kylie Minogue in Spinning Around video, 2000.
Grammy Award received by Helen Reddy for the single I Am Woman, 1972
Maracas purchased by Peter Allen in Rio de Janeiro, 1977
Negative of The Rolling Stones with Stan Rofe at the Palais Theatre, St Kilda, February 1965
Jacket worn by a member of the band Split Enz, part of the UVs costumes for the True Colours album, 1980
AC/DC
Collection holdings include costumes, photographs, posters. Date Range: 1970s - 2010.
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Allan's Music Store
Collection holdings include material relating to the book about the Allan's Music Store "The Music Sellers" by Peter Game. Popular / Classical Music.
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Allen, Peter
Billed as 'The Premier Fun-Maker of the World', singer-songwriter and performer Peter Allen's performances were described as flashy, frenetic and flamboyant. Two recent donations to the Performing Arts Collection from Allen's Estate have formed an important collection which can now be made accessible to the public and were displayed in Peter Allen: The Exhibition (2008).
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Allstars, The
Collection holdings include material relating to The Allstars includes correspondence, discography of hits, posters. Popular Music. Date Range: 1950s - 1994.
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Australian National Band (World Tour 1925-1926) and Joseph Clay Australian Silver Band
Collection holdings include photographs and newsclippings. Date Range: 1925-1926.
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Australian Scottish Ladies Pipe Band
Collection holdings include business letters, photographs, posters, programmes, promotional material. Date Range: 1919-1947.
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Aztec Services
Collection holdings include business records created by Aztec Services Pty Ltd. Theatre, 1969 - 1974.
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Beatles, The
Collection holdings include scrapbooks (1964-1988) artwork, booklet, invitation, programmes, and memorabilia from the 1964 Australian tour.
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Big Day Out Festival
Material relating to the Big Day Out Festivals can be found in a number of the popular music collections. The Performing Arts Collection contains a series of Big Day Out Photographs by Shellie Tonkin, material in the Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue Collections and photographs commissioned by photographer Emmanuel Santos. In 1996 the Big Day Out organisers also donated a collection of posters.
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Blackwood, Don
Collection holdings regarding Don Blackwood and Lido Cabaret Dance Band include flyers, news clippings, photographs, programmes, script. Big Band, 1929 - 1939.
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Brodziak, Kenn: The Beatles Australian Tour
The Collection covers all aspects of tour management including documents relating to accommodation, security, publicity and endorsement requests as wells as letters from various Beatles fans and fan clubs.
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Brozel, Nada
Collection holdings include classical music programmes and publicity material relating to musicians in Melbourne during the 1970's. Date Range 1972 - 1990.
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Byrne, Noel
Cellist, pianist, actor and director, Noel Byrne began her musical career as cellist with the Geelong String Orchestra and Albert Street Conservatorium Orchestra. Collection Holdings include artwork, news clippings, scrapbooks. Drama 1936 - 1978.
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Canberra Jazz Club
Canberra Jazz Club material includes accounts book, correspondence, flyer, news clippings. Popular Music 1971 - 1975.
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Cave, Nick
The enigmatic and highly creative writer, songwriter and musician, Nick Cave established his career with the Birthday Party, The Boys Next Door and The Bad Seeds. More recently he has branched into new creative territory with a diverse array of writing, music and film projects. In 2003, Cave agreed to donate a collection to Arts Centre Melbourne both significant and intensely personal.
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Clifford Hocking and David Vigo Collection
Melbourne born Clifford Hocking (1932 - 2006) joined forces with David Vigo in 1965 and together they broadened the horizons of Australian audiences for the next forty years. The collection holds a large business archive consisting of records, photographs, promotional material and artist files. 1960s - 1990s
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Coetmore, Knott, Moeran Family Collection
Family papers of cellist Peers Coetmore, composer Ernest John Moeran, and Maurice Walter Knott includes a book, documents, correspondence, photographs, programmes, sheet music. Date Range: 1943 - 1950.
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Corrick Family Entertainers
Collection holdings include copies of correspondence, handbills, press. Date Range: 1897 - 1999.
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Crowded House
Collection holdings include material from fan clubs, magazines, newsletters, programmes, promotional material. Popular / Rock 1980s - 1997.
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Davidson, Jim
Jim Davidson (1902 - 1981) was a band leader, ABC entertainer, Army Officer, and BBC Executive. In the 1930s he founded the Jim Davidson Dance Band, and toured for the ABC. Collection holdings include news clippings, programmes, objects, negatives. Music / Wartime Entertainment. Date Range 1945 - 1963
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Dolphin, Alice
Collection holdings include a booklet, literary work, music, photographs. Date range 1923 - 1980.
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Dylan, Bob
Collection holdings include booklets, flyers, programmes, tour agreement. Popular Music. Date range 1966 - 1970s.
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Funston, Grace and Stella
The Grace and Stella Funston Collection was donated by family member Bill May in 1993 and is a valuable research tool for understanding the role of women in music during both World Wars. Collection holdings include diaries, photographs, sheet music scrapbooks, songbooks. Date range 1920s - 1983.
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Goanna
Collection holdings relating to Australian band Goanna include record cover, stickers, t-shirts / sweater. Popular / Rock Music 1982 - 1983.
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Grossi, Luzio
There are 47 photographs by Luzio Grossi in the Performing Arts Collection capturing Melbourne’s performing arts scene in the 1980s. Subjects include actors Malcolm Robertson, Frederick Parslow, Steve Bisley, Evelyn Krape, and magician Sam Angelico along with Barry Humphries’ comic creation Sandy Stone.
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Grossman, Ernest
Collection holdings include publications and photographs. Jazz - Date range 1930 - 1981.
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Hart, Fritz
Fritz Hart (1874 - 1949), English born musician, composer and conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Director of the Albert Street Conservatorium. Collection holdings include correspondence, photographs, personal effects, 3-dimensional objects. 1920s - 1930s.
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Hart, Lionel
Musician, violinist, side-show entrepreneur, band leader and radio identity with 2BL, 2FC and 2UE, Lionel Hart and his family migrated to Western Australia in th 1890s. Collection holdings include correspondence, photographs, radio interview, scrapbook. Instrumental / Orchestral Music 1912 - 1941.
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Hunters and Collectors
The Hunters and Collectors collection includes album covers, logo designs, posters, photographs, reviews from the Juke Magazine Collection. Popular/Rock 1980s - 1990s.
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Jacobs, Harry
Henry 'Harry' Osborne Jacobs (1888-1988) Musician, conductor and arranger. News clippings, objects, photos, scripts. 1918 - 1950.
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Juke Magazine
The archival collection from Juke Magazine contains; Australian files, film / television / theatre files, industry files, international files, photographs, transparencies. Popular/Rock 1970s - 1990s.
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Kennedy, Hal
Collection holdings include business cards, objects, photographs, programmes, sheet music, posters. Jazz 1943 - 1994.
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Lasslett, Frank
Frank Lasslett (1912 - 2003) singer, teacher, theatre technician. Collection holdings include photographs, documents, programmes and recordings.
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Lawrence, Michel
The Performing Arts Collections holds a series of 79 photographs of Melbourne based performers taken by Michel Lawrence between 1978 - 1985.
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Lemmone, John
John Lemmone was a flautist and concert director who toured with Nellie Melba. Collection includes a flute, tuning forks, documents, magazines, manuscripts, music, objects, photographs, programmes, sheet music, song albums. Date range 1888 - 1971.
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Lewis, Reginald
Collection holdings include bongo drums, hat, maracas, travelling trunk. Dance-Bands c1940s.
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Little River Band
Collection holdings include magazines, objects, photographs, poster. Popular / Rock 1975 - 1978.
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Market & Duke of York Hotels
Material relating to performances at the Market and Duke of York Hotels. Ledger, photograph, promotional material, t-shirt. Popular Music 1979 - 1982.
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McBeath, Neil
Collection holdings include news clippings, records, scores. Date range 1980s - 2006.
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McCallum, Bonnie
Bonnie McCallum worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Collection holdings include photographs papers and research notes. 1940s - 1950s.
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McQuade, Betty
The Betty McQuade Collection provides a fascinating insight into the birth of rock 'n' roll in Australia during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It also reflects the resurgence of interest around this subject during the 1980s and beyond. The collection comprises photo albums and scrapbooks compiled by Betty herself as well as recordings and costumes.
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Melbourne International Arts Festival
Collection holdings include publications and documents from the Melbourne International Arts Festival (MIAF). Date Range 1986 - 2005.
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Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra
Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra material includes correspondence, programmes, annual reports. Classical 1861 - 1970.
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Milne, Peter
Melbourne-born Peter Milne is a documentary photographer notable for capturing icons of the Melbourne comedy scene from the 1980s to the 1990s. Black and white photographs by Peter Milne. Photography 1980s - 1990s.
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Minogue, Kylie
The Kylie Minogue Collection was donated to the Arts Centre's Performing Arts Collection in 2003 and contains over 300 costumes and accessories. Spanning 20 years of Kylie's career the collection traces her journey to superstardom while showcasing her extraordinary ability to reinvent herself through costume. Costumes, objects, ephemera 1980s - 2009.
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Morton, Arthur
Collection holdings include flyers, magazines, photographs, programmes. Music 1920s - 1930.
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Mullens Collection (C C Mullens)
Collection of books, journals, news clippings, photographs, programmes, sheet music. Date range 1911 - 1961.
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Musical Society of Victoria
Musical Society of Victoria collection includes business archives, correspondence, photographs, scrapbook, sheet music. Classical Music, 1970 - 1981.
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Nitocris
Nitocris, a punk and heavy metal band, was formed in 1992 by four 14-year-old classmates at Hunters Hill High School. Nitocris is representative of how the commercial success of independent and alternative rock music during the 1990s provided Australian women songwriters, instrumentalists and vocalists with the opportunity to challenge or ignore attempts to control their image.
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O'Brien, Kathleen
Kathleen O'Brien worked as a freelance photographer for the Australian rock journals, RAM, JUKE and Rolling Stone from 1977 to 1981. Collection holdings include negatives, proof sheets, prints. Popular / Rock 1970s - 1980s.
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Planets, The
Material relating to The Planets includes flyers, news clippings, photographs, publicity kit, scrapbooks. Popular Music 1950s - 1960s.
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Postle, Bruce
Bruce Postle was born in Brisbane in 1940 and followed his father into press photography to become one of the country’s most respected photojournalists. For over 50 years he has taken thousands of celebrated and iconic images.
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Presley, Elvis
Collection holdings include Elvis special books, magazines, promotional material. Popular Music 1963 - 1986.
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Quintrell, Will
The Quintrell Family collection includes photographs, programme, scrapbook. Music / Variety 1909 - 1946.
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Richards, Laurie
The Laurie Richards Collection contains Negatives and logbooks. Popular Entertainment 1950s - 1970s
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RoadKnight, Margret
The Margret RoadKnight Collection provides a comprehensive overview of her career. The Collection provides important insights into the early 1960s and 1970s period from the perspective of independant musicians in the folk and jazz scene and the emergence of social consciousness that gave rise to the protest, women's rights and anti-war movements.
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Rolling Stones, The
Materials relating to the Rolling Stones includes magazines, promotional material, sweater. Popular / Rock Music 1964 - 1994/95.
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Seekers, The
Objects in the Performing Arts Collection relating to The Seekers include a costume, poster and scrapbook. Folk Music 1966 - 1994.
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Skyhooks
Skyhooks became renowned in the 1970s for being one of Australia's most popular rock bands. Skyhooks' most well known line-up formed in Melbourne in 1974 and featured Greg Macainsh (bass/vocals), Red Symons (guitar) Fred Strauks (drums), Bob "Bongo"Starkie (guitar) and Shirley Strachan (vocals). The collection includes posters, photographs, files from the Juke Magazine Collection. Popular / Rock Music 1970s.
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Society of Classical Guitarists
Collection holdings include journals, manuscript, photographs, business administration. Classical 1965 - 1980.
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Split Enz
Split Enz began its life as "Split Ends" in Auckland, 1972. Their style of music has been described variously as New Wave, Rock, Pop and Postmodern. The Performing Arts Collection features the exclusive and extensive holding of Split Enz costumes.
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Stop the Drop Concert
Stop the Drop Concert material includes T-shirt, documents, flyers, news clippings, press releases. Popular Music 1983 - 1984.
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Sturgess, Robert
Collection holdings include correspondence, news clippings, photographs, scripts. Music Promoter. Date range 1957 - 1980.
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Sturrock, Lena
Collection holdings include certificates, correspondence, photographs, programmes, scrapbook. Music 1922 - 1982.
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Sunbury Music Festival
Material concerning the Sunbury Music Festival includes correspondence, documents, ledger, news clippings, photographs, promotional material. Popular 1972 - 1975
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Sutton Crow, J
Collection holdings include memoirs, news clippings, photographs, programmes, notes. Date range 1939 - 1969.
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The Continental Café
Collection holdings include posters. Music - Popular. Date Range: June 1993 - June 1994.
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Tonkin, Shellie
In 1996 Arts Centre Melbourne commissioned Tonkin to photograph Melbourne’s burgeoning inner-city independent music scene for a Next Wave Festival project called Out there: images at the edge of Melbourne’s music scene.
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Tozer, Geoffrey
Australian pianist and composer. Collection holdings include contracts, correspondence, handwritten music, photographs, programmes, news clippings. Date range 1969 - 1974.
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Westminster Glee Singers
Collection holdings include Westminster Glee Singers Diary, news clippings, photographs, programmes. Classical / Choral 1923.
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Wood Family Collection
Collection holdings include books, correspondence, magazines, photographs, sheet music. Date range 1869 - 1940.
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Young, Greg
Collection holdings include business files, catalogues and booklets, promotional material. Date range 1898 - 1970s.
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Zelman, Samuel Victor Albert 'Alberto'
'Alberto' Zelman (Jr) conductor, violinist, teacher and founder of the Melbourne Symphny Orchestra. Collection holdings include a violin, photographs, obituary, programme.
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Music - Bands and Performers
Music - Events and Venues
Music - Organisations
Music - Photographers