Kim barne thaliyu

Geelong Heritage Centre

Kim barne thaliyu, meaning ‘here yesterday’ in the language of the Wadawurrung people, is Victoria’s largest regional archive and heritage resource centre.

Our collection comprises public and private records including newspapers, maps, plans and photographs from the Bellarine, the Golden Plains, the Surf Coast, the Borough of Queenscliffe and beyond.

Access our collections

You can view our online catalogue here and our guide to searching online here.

To view our complete collection, including detailed catalogues and indexes, visit us in person.

To view collection items, you can submit a request online, call 03 4201 0630 or visit in person during our opening hours.

Please submit your request to view items at least three business days prior to your planned visit.

Some images from our collection can be viewed online here.
If you can’t find what you are looking for online or would like to know what else we have in our collection, you can email:

Research support

If you need advice searching or accessing our collection, you can book a one-on-one session with a member of our team. These 45-minute sessions are free and limited to one booking per person.

You can book your session via our online form or call 03 4201 0630.

Bookings are available at 11am and 2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Collection management

Kim barne thaliyu / Geelong Heritage Centre is part of the Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC) and we are governed by the GRLC Board.

We are a Public Record Office Victoria Class A Place of Deposit and therefore manage, preserve, and make accessible permanent public records.

Collection Advisory Committee

The Kim barne thaliyu / Geelong Heritage Centre Collection Advisory Committee provide collection-related advice.

Community representatives are appointed for a two-year period. The next call for community representatives will be advertised via the GRLC website in late 2023.

First Nations researchers

Please note that we have items in our collection that may be culturally sensitive for First Nations people.

If you need a private space to view records, please let a member of our staff know and this can be arranged.

Additional public records and research support for First Nations people are available through the Koorie Records Unit.

While our team are available to support all research inquiries, the Koorie Heritage Trust provide specialised Koorie family tree and genealogy research support through the Koorie Family History Service.

Kim barne thaliyu, meaning ‘here yesterday’ in Wadawarrung, is the archive and heritage resource centre for Geelong and surrounding regions, taking in Wurdi Youang and extending as far west as Eastern Maar Country.

Kim barne thaliyu / Geelong Heritage Centre acknowledge the Wadawarrung and Eastern Maar people as the Original Owners of the lands, waters, and skies where we operate. We pay respect to Wadawarrung and Eastern Maar Elders past and present as custodians of learning, literacy, knowledge, and story.

For tens of thousands of years prior to the creation of the written records that make up the bulk of the Kim barne thaliyu / Geelong Heritage Centre collection, Wadawarrung and Eastern Maar people developed their own sophisticated methods for sharing knowledge across generations.

Despite colonisation, Wadawarrung and Eastern Maar people have kept their language, culture, and heritage alive, and they are still practiced today.

During the early colonial period, the site where Kim barne thaliyu / Geelong Heritage Centre now stands was used for the Geelong Volunteer Fire Brigade Station (built in 1857). It was removed in 1918 as part of improvements to Johnstone Park. A garden inhabited the site until construction began on the new municipal library in 1958.

In 1951, the Geelong Historical Records Centre was established as a memorial to two historic events: the centenary of the separation of Victoria from New South Wales and the 50th Jubilee of Federation. The citizens of Geelong raised the capital funds for the centre with the express wish that it be the repository for local historical records.

The centre first opened to the public in 1979 and, with the help of a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, collected and sorted all manner of archival material. They transferred popular records to microfilm, catalogued and indexed public and private collections, and attracted more and more researchers until the centre became the largest regional archive and heritage resource centre in Victoria.

In 2003, the Geelong Historical Records Centre became the Geelong Heritage Centre (Kim barne thaliyu) and entered a new era of technology. New research techniques and methods of accessing and synthesising information were embraced. In recent years large-scale digitising projects have been undertaken to provide easier access to records and to help preserve original archival material.

Kim barne thaliyu / Geelong Heritage Centre continues to strive towards making our collections more accessible than ever before.

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