Researching buildings and houses

Learn how to research the history of your house or a prominent Melbourne building using the Library’s collection of architectural drawings, maps and online tools.

SLV architectural drawings collection

Recasting and extending chemist shop,LTAD 82

Recasting and extending chemist shop, LTAD 82

The Library's collection of architectural drawings is held in the Pictures Collection. It is made up of architects' drawings of 19th and 20th century buildings.

The SLV also holds measured drawings of some buildings on the Historic Buildings Register or those classified by the National Trust, including the digitised Matthew Flinders measured drawings competition.

The drawings are mostly of Victorian buildings, but also include some examples of interstate and overseas buildings. A listing of drawings of the State Library of Victoria can be found in this guide.

Several collections of drawings by landscape architects or designers are also represented.

Prominent Melbourne architects

Grounds, Romberg & Boyd

Walter Butler (1864-1949)

Stephenson & Turner

William Pitt (1855-1918)

Mr Joseph Reed, architect

Mr Joseph Reed, IAN09/10/80/189

The architect who designed the State Library of Victoria.


Subject headings

You can browse the following subjects headings from the Pictures Catalogue

Architectural drawings

Architecture, Modern--20th century

Architecture-- Victoria

Landscape architecture drawings (for garden & landscaping plans)

Parish and Township Plans

The Public Record Office Victoria has digitised plans that show allotments in Parishes and Townships across Victoria. 

Public Record Office Victoria

PROV holds the drawings of Victorian government buildings, spanning 1853 to 1998. Included in the collection are drawings of state, high and technical schools, colleges, mental asylums, government offices, bridges and roads, law courts, police stations and prisons. 

Housing costs in the 1880s

The Pamphlet of useful information for persons wishing to either build, borrow, or invest details the cost of housing in the 1880s. Also includes some house plans and elevations.

State Library Victoria


The Library is closed from December 25 to January 3. From January 4 2021 we will be partially open to pre-booked and walk-up visitors and our Ask A Librarian service will resume for assistance with your research inquiries online and over the phone.