About our Collections

Library Collection

The collection of the PMI Victorian History Library Inc. contains information on all aspects of the history of Victoria including:

  • Cities, towns, regions and localities
  • Schools, churches, businesses, hospitals, clubs, bands and community services
  • Transport including trains, planes and automobiles
  • True crime, criminals and law enforcement
  • Military and war
  • Politics and Government
  • Mining and natural resources
  • Company histories and Heritage studies
  • First Nations history
  • Immigrants and immigration
  • Biographies, art, literature and sport
  • Religion and folklore
  • Maps and directories
  • LGBTQIA+ History

We have a fiction collection comprised of Australian fiction by Australian authors with a focus on Australian literary prizes and recommendations.

We provide access to a growing range of indexes, pioneer registers and other useful resources for Victorian family history.

We collect national and interstate material that have Victorian content or have influenced Victoria.

For more information you can view our Collections Policy here.

Minority Voices

The PMI collection aims to represent all voices that make up the multifaceted history of Victoria. The core of this principle is a focus on minority voices to ensure they are recorded as part of Victoria’s history. Examples of minority voices are: First Nations peoples, LGBTQIA+ Australians, people of colour, immigrants and refugees, non Christian religions and any other groups who may be underrepresented in general collection items. The PMI is actively seeking these stories by working with communities to write their histories for the collection, the collection of ephemera and oral history. It is also recognised that marginalised groups may have different ways of telling their stories so an emphasis on own voice narratives, especially in the fiction collection is paramount, this includes collecting works in languages other than English.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition is available for members to use at the PMI on a library computer or your own laptop. It’s an unprecedented online collection of individuals from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and more.

Answers await everyone—whether professional or hobbyist, expert or novice, genealogist or historian—inside the more than 7,000 available databases. Here, you can unlock the story of you with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.

And, with ongoing updates and new content always being added, you’ll keep coming back to discover more. Visit our Research Guide: Ancestry Library Edition for more information, including the differences between the library and home editions.

For more information on family history resources at the PMI see Research Guide: family History.

Member Requests

We are keen to respond to our members’ needs, so please request an item not in our collection about the history of Victoria. Email us at library@pmi.net.au

Searching the Collection

To make the most of your research time at the library, you can access our online catalogue.

Travelling a long distance to visit us? You can email us a list of items you’re interested in before you visit, and we can reserve them for you. There is no charge for this service. If you are a member you can reserve items any item yourself, by logging into the online catalogue.

Our library holdings are also shown in the Trove database.

Recent Additions to the Collection

The PMI Library produces a monthly Recent Additions list which contains items recently added to the library arranged by place and subject. You can find out more about our Recent Additions list here.


Please be aware that items in our collection may contain words, descriptions, names, sounds, images, videos and audio recordings which may be culturally sensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts. Terms and annotations which reflect the author's attitude or that of the period in which the item was written may not be considered appropriate today.

Wanting to renew or reserve library items?

Opening Hours

Tues to Fri: 10.00am–4.00pm
Sat to Mon: Closed

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PMI Newsletter

Our regular newsletter features information about what is happening at the library, upcoming events and articles about Victorian history.