Cultural Engagement

The University maintains more than 30 unique cultural collections and hosts a broad range of cultural programs throughout the year.

A postcard of two Japanese princesses sewing clothing and bedding from old kimonos for the survivors of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake (East Asian Rare Books Collection, University of Melbourne).

For more than 150 years, the University of Melbourne has helped define the City of Melbourne’s reputation as a dynamic and engaging cultural destination in our region. During this time, the University’s cultural archives have grown to include over 30 unique collections which chart the history and development of many of the academic disciplines taught at the University since 1853.  Our archives include fascinating artefacts such as rare books and manuscripts, paintings and sculptures, archaeological finds, medical implements, musical instruments and animal specimens.

Today, the University continues to administer a broad range of cultural programs for the benefit of many people; from students developing their talents through artistic curricular and extracurricular programs, to international researchers interrogating unique content; or from patrons viewing works from our extensive art collection at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, through to audiences attending world class performances by the Melbourne Theatre Company.

Members and visitors of the University of Melbourne have many opportunities to engage with our cultural programs and collections.  In particular, The University holds two alternating, biennial events - The Festival of Ideas and the Cultural Treasures Festival, through which we invite the broader public to engage with the achievements of the past and the challenges of the future. Further, our various museums, galleries and theatres offer a rich program of events and exhibitions throughout the year for general admission. 

Please follow the links below to explore programs of interest

The Arts at Melbourne 

The Library Collections Blog

Cultural Collections: Exhibitions

Cultural Treasures Festival

Festival of Ideas