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Australian Centre for Gold Rush Collections

The Gold Museum is transitioning to two centres of deep learning and research that include the nationally significant Centre for Rare Arts and Forgotten Trades and Australian Centre for Gold Rush Collections. The Australian Centre for Gold Rush Collections will build on Sovereign Hill’s rich collections and provide visitors with greater accessibility to the culturally significant collection. Expanding upon the existing collection storage facility at the transformed Gold Museum, and maintaining best practice security and environmental standards, the Australian Centre for Goldrush Collections will be a state of the art collections facility.

The proximity to the Rare Trades Centre will provide an opportunity to connect contemporary practice with the richness of the museum collection. Due to operational necessity, both parts of the building will have separate and distinct spaces, however a series of zones within the building will visually connect the two spaces. This novel approach will curate framed views from the maker spaces to the visible collection storage area. Significant public programming will be enabled through the new visible collection store and research zone. Access for research will also be enhanced.

The Sovereign Hill Museums Association holds a large and culturally significant collection which includes, amongst many treasures, Australia’s most significant collections of Gold Licences and Miners Rights, one of the most complete extant Chinese temple assemblages in Australian and a Chinese processional assemblage that includes the world’s oldest known guardian lion and third oldest Imperial Dragon.

The Master Plan seeks to enhance visibility and storage capacity for collections items through the provision of a state of the art museum storage facility designed to incorporate a wide range of collections types into the visitor experience, as well as factoring in future collection expansion. The core practice of museology – research, collecting, object and archival collections care – will be made visible and accessible to visiting scholars and researchers by integrating workspaces within the Australian Centre for Goldrush Collections.

The Collections and Curatorial team are located at the Gold Museum and continue to facilitate collection access. The Gold Museum Education programs that focus on collection objects are, during this transition time, being delivered in the Living Museum. Collection care is ongoing and researchers are encouraged to contact the team to discuss collection access. For all collections access, donation queries, and research queries please email and a member of the Collections and Curatorial team will be in touch.

Click here to learn more about our Master Plan.

The Centre will house:

  • More public access space to our 150,000 collection items
  • Meeting spaces, public programs
  • A real gold nugget right up close and one of the world’s oldest ceremonial Chinese dragons


  • Almost double the collection displace space (+1434m2)
  • 60% more collection storage space (+895m2)
  • Collection nodes, new galleries and collection rich arrival experience

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