Historic photographs

There are many places to search online for historic photographs of Merri-bek.

You can also find images in local history books, newsletters and newspapers.

Many local, state and national institutions also have photographs of the local area that haven't been digitised or put online.

Churches or other local community organisations might also have private archives of photographs.

Contact these organisations to search their local files if you can't find images online

Before using photographs you must be aware of copyright restrictions.

Moreland Image Galleries

A selection of historical images from our collections.

A short history of the Brunswick Town Hall 

Discover the historic secrets and significance of the Brunswick Town Hall.

Views of Sydney Road 

From the 1840s to the 1960s, see how this well known Merri-bek thoroughfare has changed over time.

Moreland at Play 

See how people in Merri-bek spent their leisure time in the past, everything from cycling, cricket, riding billycarts and even diving at Coburg Lake.

Historic Movember 

These guys were well ahead of their time when it comes to impressive facial hair! 

Wonderful Women of Merri-bek 

Some amazing images of women in Merri-bek through history


Trove is combined search site for collections of many state and national libraries and museums such as the State Library of Victoria, Museums Victoria and Australian War Memorial. It also searches Flickr and Picture Victoria collection.

To limit searching to Australian content click the 'Australian content’ box at the top of the screen before searching. Check copyright restrictions for each imageContact the holding library or museum if you need high-resolution copies.

Moreland City Libraries Local History Catalogue

The Moreland City Libraries Local History Catalogue includes series of local Brunswick images collected by Cr. Dollman before 1938 and converted to glass slides to celebrate the centenary of Brunswick.  There are also images and content from other local suburbs. 

Picture Victoria 

Picture Victoria website hosts about 3000 historic images of Merri-bek’s suburbs held by Merri-bek City Libraries and Coburg Historic Society. Most images are taken before 1955 and are out of copyright. To limit searches to local content, choose Advanced Search function and select Merri-bek City Libraries from the drop-down menu.

Pictorial Brunswick:  From first settlement to City 1839 - 1939

Pictorial Brunswick photographic album put together by Brunswick Historical Society to celebrate the centenary in 1939.  
Download the PDF in the catalogue record to view pages of the album.

Jubilee History of Brunswick (1907)

Jubilee history of Brunswick.  Photograhs of early Brunswick and surrounds start on page 44. Includes many early businesses on Sydney Road. 
Download the PDF in catalogue record to view.

State Library of Victoria Digital Image Pool

The Digital Image Pool has 200,00 historic images of Victoria you can search and download in high-resolution for free. For high-resolution downloads, click on the image and see the small 'Download a high-res image' at the bottom of the page.  

The Victorian heritage database  

The Victorian heritage database includes images of historic buildings in Merri-bek. Can be searched by municipality.

Royal Historical Society of Victoria

Royal Historical Society of Victoria has over 30,000 images of Melbourne that date back to 1850s, including portraits, street scenes etc. Only a small selection of images held by the Society are online.

Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV)

Public Record Office of Victoria has a number of photographic collections including 1956 Olympics, public transport and school buildings.

You can also browse themed albums and galleries through the PROV collection on FLICKR.


Wikinorthia has a small number of photographs posted by local libraries and community members as part of articles of local interest.

Victorian Collections 

Victorian Collections is a portal site to collections of small local museums across Victoria.  

CoAsIt Italian Historical Society

CoAsIt Italian Historical Society has an online photographic collection of the Italian Historical Society in Carlton.

Broadmeadows Historical Society

Broadmeadows Historical Society has an online gallery of photographs. There is also a Museum of Broadmeadows which is located in the Broadmeadows Town Park opposite to the Shopping Centre on Pearcedale Parade.

Moreland City Council Image Gallery

Moreland City Council image gallery has a small selection of photographs of recent public events on our website.

Internet search engine ‘image search’

If you are still unable to find a suitable image, select and search in the “Image search” area of an internet search engine. A link to a relevant image may appear.  Take note of copyright restrictions.


Copyright in photographs is generally owned by the photographer or their estate.

Photos taken before 1955 are now out of copyright.

To reproduce a photograph taken after 1955, it must be publicly licensed or fall into one of the fair dealing exceptions stated in the Copyright Act. Otherwise you must seek permission of the copyright owner to reproduce. 

You also need to be aware of creators' Moral Rights under copyright law.

If you publish a photograph from the Merri-bek City Libraries collection, please include the source in the caption to assist other researchers eg Image provided by Merri-bek City Libraries.