THE Geelong Heritage Centre recently celebrated 40 years since the original Geelong Historical Records Centre opened to the public.
The centre was relocated to the third floor of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre when it opened in November 2015.
Chair of the Heritage Centre’s Collection Advisory Committee Cr Margot Smith said the centre’s collection was of great significance not just to Geelong, but its surrounding regions.
“The extensive collection features records and objects originating from communities across Geelong, Queenscliffe, Golden Plains and Surf Coast, as well as from local government and state government departments.
“The diversity and depth of the collection really is amazing – it provides an invaluable insight into the recorded history of our region.”
When the Geelong Historical Records Centre opened in 1979, a collection of items began to come in from the community. These were handled under the guidance of archivist Norman Houghton and a small group of committed staff and volunteers.
The Heritage Centre has 4.2 kilometres of mobile shelving and more than 200,000 items in its climate controlled repository.
There have been hundreds of volunteers involved over the organisation’s 40 year history who have helped organise and archive the items.
In 2015, the Geelong Heritage Centre was integrated into the Geelong Regional Library Corporation.
The centre now hosts regular community and school group visits.
In late October, the Geelong Heritage Centre was awarded a $4,500 federal Community Heritage Grant to fund a project to undertake a preservation needs assessment of its collection.