Last updated:

4 June 2018

A new exhibition telling 20 turbulent tales of Victoria’s gold rush will open in June at the building built on gold: Old Treasury Building. 

Presented in partnership with the state archives of Public Record Office Victoria, Gold Rush: 20 Objects, 20 Stories will open at Old Treasury Building from Friday 8 June 2018. The exhibition will present Victoria’s gold rush through the individual stories of just 20 objects. From tiny original manuscripts to a replica of the largest gold nugget found, each object provides a unique insight into the world of gold rush Victoria. 

Some key items in the exhibition include:
•    A pistol excavated from the Eureka lead, on loan from Heritage Victoria
•    Original works by S.T. Gill, and diaries of unknown gold diggers on loan from State Library of Victoria
•    An 1850s dress in the style worn by women on the goldfields
•    The ‘Race to the Gold Diggings of Australia’ board game, from the National Library of Australia.

These will be displayed alongside gems from the state archival collection, many on show for the very first time, including letters written by philanthropist Caroline Chisholm and documents throwing new light on the active role of the Native Police Corps in policing the early goldfields. Also from the archives  a petition from the Chinese gold diggers protesting a tax placed on their arrival at the goldfields.  

From the experience of children and the involvement of women in goldfields history, to the Aboriginal people acting as guides to miners, fossicking for gold and working in the Native Police Corp, there is a treasure trove of stories to be discovered and the 20 objects of this exhibition show just how varied they can be. 

What: Gold Rush: 20 Objects, 20 Stories 
Where: Old Treasury Building, Spring Street, Melbourne
When: 8 June 2018 to 26 May 2019, 10am to 4pm Sunday to Friday (closed Saturdays) 
This is a FREE exhibition, no bookings required. Visit or for more information. 


Media enquiries: Tara Oldfield, Communications Officer Public Record Office Victoria 
e:  m: 0418 698 364

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