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Performing Arts Collection facts for kids

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The Australian Performing Arts Collection at Arts Centre Melbourne is the largest specialist performing arts collection in Australia, with over 680,000 items relating to the history of circus, dance, music, opera and theatre in Australia and of Australian performers overseas.


Established as the Performing Arts Museum in 1979, it is now officially known as the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

Highlights of the collections

  • The Australian Ballet Collection
  • J.C. Williamson Theatres Ltd Collection
  • Nellie Melba collections, including the Nellie Melba Stage Wardrobe and the John Lemmone Collection
  • Kylie Minogue Collection
  • Nick Cave Collection
  • Barry Humphries Collection
  • Peter Allen
  • Juke Magazine Archive
  • Circus Oz Collection
  • Sydney Dance Company Collection, and personal collections from Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon
  • Kristian Fredrikson Collection
  • Kenneth Rowell Collection
  • Reg Livermore Collection
  • Bell Shakespeare Collection
  • Chamber Made Opera Company Collection
  • Playbox Theatre Company Collection
  • Kenn Brodziak Collection, relating to The Beatles Australian Tour
  • Chunky Move Collection
  • Handspan Theatre Collection
  • Split Enz Costume Collection
  • Australian Archives of the Dance


The Australian Performing Arts Collection holds exhibitions the galleries throughout Arts Centre Melbourne (Gallery 1, Gallery 2, St Kilda Road Foyer Gallery and Smorgon Family Plaza). Exhibitions subjects have included AC/DC, Kylie Minogue, Geoffrey Rush, Peter Allen, and Nick Cave and have toured nationally and internationally. The current exhibition, The Australian Music Vault, is a collaboration with the music industry.


  • Frank van Straten (1984-1993)
  • Janine Barrand

37°49′13″S 144°58′6″E / 37.82028°S 144.96833°E / -37.82028; 144.96833Coordinates: 37°49′13″S 144°58′6″E / 37.82028°S 144.96833°E / -37.82028; 144.96833

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