Melbourne's Living Museum of the West
Visitor Centre, Pipemakers Park, Van Ness Ave, MARIBYRNONG
Phone: (03) 9318 3544
Melbourne's Living Museum of the West Inc. is a community museum, with an ecomuseum focus, operating in the western region of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia. The Living Museum, as it is more commonly known, was set up in 1984 to address what was then seen as a disadvantaged region, geographically flat and rocky, heavily industrialised with a high migrant population. The ecomuseum concept regards the area researched by a museum as part of the museum itself. The western region covers a large geographical area (see map) west of Melbourne which includes industrial suburbs merging into rural areas. Geologically it sits on an extensive basalt plain with low rainfall. Its population is approximately 500,000 people from approximately 70 different countries. More than 30% of the population were born in another country. The mix has created a unique cultural context that might even seem surreal to those who live in a more homogenous culture. It has in fact given rise to a cultural dynamic that challenges more conventional forms of interpretation.
The Living Museum's Resources includes the collection of documents, tapes and artefacts which form the Resource Centre, as well as the personnel and facilities at the Museum itself. The collections include Published boooks, reports and articles; maps, plans and drawings; a photographic archive; oral histories; and exhibition materials.