Melbourne Athenaeum

The Melbourne Athenaeum - The Pleasure of Words.

The Melbourne Athenaeum.

Melbourne Athenaeum is the oldest public institution in Victoria, founded 1839.

Two theatres, complete with Ticketmaster services and a subscription library of approximately 60,000 books are contained in the building which was built in 1842.

The archives collection is in the process of being arranged and described.


The library collection of approximately 60,000 books reflects the reading interests of the subscribing members. The majority of the books are fiction, detective, general and historical. Biographies are popular; subjects such as travel, history, literature and writing, arts and crafts, war and peace are well represented.

Magazines, large print books, DVDs and audio-visual materials are also available.

The library has a collection of withdrawn books, which can be borrowed, that represent popular literature from the past.

The archives collection consists of administrative records, minutes, annual reports, and some artifacts. Photographs of the interior of the library and exterior of the building are held.

A small collection of 19th century books are retained for historical purposes and display.