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The Ballarat Heritage Festival, hosted by the City of Ballarat since 2006, explores the hidden treasures and untold stories of the region's history and its people. In 2024 the Festival runs from 17-26 May featuring a range of fun and informative events that promote the region's rich heritage. 

To celebrate, Ballarat Archives Centre staff have delved into our collection to present these fascinating stories of Ballarat's past.

Ballarat Municipal Observatory


The inaugural municipal observatory in Australia

Alice Cornwell: Princess Midas

Photograph of a woman in a hat from 1875

A woman in a man’s world

Mine tragedy

Nineteenth century map of Ballarat mining district

Collapse at Cardigan Propriety Mine

Girls rejection of suitors issues their death warrants

Close up photograph of an old criminal file

Jealously and murder in early 20th century Ballarat

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples