Port Phillip Heritage Centre

The Port Phillip Heritage Centre is a place for connecting with our local history and discovering the objects and stories that make up the cultural heritage of the City of Port Phillip.

Housed within the Emerald Hill Library in South Melbourne, the Port Phillip Heritage Centre provides access to historical information and a rich range of experiences through its resources, programs and staff. 

The Heritage Centre contains a wide range of material relating to the histories of South Melbourne, St Kilda, and Port Melbourne, once separate municipalities which were brought together in 1994 to become the City of Port Phillip. These former cities are some of the oldest municipalities in Melbourne. South Melbourne (formerly named Emerald Hill) became a municipality in 1855. St Kilda became a municipality in 1857, and Port Melbourne (formerly named Sandridge) became a municipality in 1860. 

The resources in this collection can be used to assist in researching both local and family history.

Local History Services

We can assist you with

  • access to the local history collection
  • researching the history of your house
  • accessing family history online databases
  • viewing the Port Phillip City Collection art and heritage database
  • image searches for research and publication purposes (fees may apply)

    Please note appointments may be required

    Phone: 03 9209 6795

Discover the Local History collection

The Local History collection contains a wide range of information and research resources derived from the former cities of South Melbourne, St Kilda and Port Melbourne. Search through rate books, local newspapers, electoral rolls, and more.

This page is being updated regularly - please check back for new resources.

The History of your House

Search through rate books and the Sands & McDougall Directories to trace the history of your house.

Trace your Family History

Using resources from the Port Phillip Heritage Centre, learn about the history of family members who lived in South Melbourne, St Kilda, or Port Melbourne.

History and Heritage

Our municipality has many shared and diverse histories, from thousands of generations for First Peoples, to our newest migrants. Learn more about rich history of South Melbourne, St Kilda, and Port Melbourne through photographs, community stories, interviews, videos, and guided walks.

View from the Town Hall clock tower looking north-east along Bay Street, c1895 (Port Phillip City Collection PM1039)

Contact the Local History team

The Port Phillip Heritage Centre is open Monday to Friday. For full opening hours click here

Email: library-LocalHistoryTeam@portphillip.vic.gov.au
Phone: 03 9209 6795
Heritage Centre address: 195 Bank Street, South Melbourne, VIC 3205.