Heritage Room and Exhibitions

rsz heritage room and exhibitions

Williamstown Library is the home base for Hobsons Bay Libraries Heritage Collection. The library’s Heritage Room houses special collections and microform readers and features a regularly changing array of local history exhibitions.

A team of specialist staff is on hand to assist with your research on family and local history. You can submit a research enquiry online or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make an appointment with a member of our experienced heritage team.

If you are interested in having an exhibition in our heritage room, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Current Exhibitions

Visit our Heritage Room and upstairs Gallery at Williamstown Library to view any of our current local history exhibitions, listed below. If you are interested in having an exhibition, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

From National Aborigines’ Day to NAIDOC Week: 50 Years of Posters

2022 naidoc posterNational NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Each year the National NAIDOC Week Poster Competition encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to submit their artwork which reflects that year's National NAIDOC Week Theme. The poster competition has become an iconic feature of the week and has a rich and significant history since NAIDOC began producing posters in 1967. NAIDOC posters reflect not only the many significant social changes that have occurred since 1967 but also evolution of art over the last 55 years.

Friday 24 June to Sunday 7 August
Williamstown Library, during opening hours.

 NAIDOC poster 1972


NAIDOC 2022 logo Inline


Past Exhibitions  

Williamstown Film Society: Celebrating 25 Years

The Williamstown Film Society celebrated its 25th anniversary with an exhibition at the Williamstown Library.

Beginning as the Williamstown High School Ex-Students' Association Film Group in 1949, it evolved into the Williamstown Film Society in the mid-1950s before winding down at the end of the decade.

In 1996 the Film Society re-formed and remains active today with film screenings at the Williamstown Town Hall and Willy's Coffee House at St. Johns Uniting Church.

Williamstown Film Society exhibition low res

Williamstown Films community group

heritage hobsons bay



Williamstown Little Theatre Inc - Celebrating 75 Years

Formed in 1946, Williamstown Little Theatre is considered one of Melbourne’s leading non-professional theatre companies. Since then, Williamstown Little Theatre have presented over 200 plays, offering quality, affordable theatre to Hobsons Bay residents and the wider community.

Photograph details

Photographer: Roger Forsey.
Production: The Nance by Douglas Carter-Beane, director Chris Baldock, April 2016 Costume design by Tony Tartaro, and constructed by Laraine Williamson.
Actor: Kate Lewis.

Williamstown Little Theatre Main Photograph 25 August 17 October 513px

Willi Little Theatre Inc Logo



Together Apart: Life in Lockdown

When COVID-19 hit Melbourne harder than a runaway tram, our lives changed – literally overnight. 'Together Apart: Life in Lockdown' gives a rare glimpse into life in lockdown, beautifully capturing the isolation, frustration, hope, humour, and innate human need for togetherness that quickly became part of the Hobsons Bay community's daily lives.

This exhibition is based on the book 'Together Apart: Life in Lockdown'. Photographed and written by locals Jude van Daalen and Belinda Jackson, 'Together Apart: Life in Lockdown' is a beautiful, limited edition black-and-white coffee table book featuring 60 interviews and portraits of people in the Hobsons Bay community.

Cover Together Apart Jude van Daalen medium












 CreativeCity Logo PRINT Colour  Make It Happen logo lockup COLOUR


Turning the Page

This exhibition is a unique snapshot of how public libraries have shaped and impacted the lives of those who live, work and play in Hobsons Bay.

Libraries have helped people find long-lost relatives, study for exams, improve their English, gain computer skills, feel connected to their community, learn to read and so much more.

The Turning the Page exhibition is now on display at the Creative Tech Hub, Seaworks Maritime Precinct, Williamstown. Drop in, admire the exhibition and get techy.

Turning the page exhibition










Creative Technology Hub at SeaworksLibraries Change Lives


Controls: Use the left and right arrows at the bottom of the exhibition to navigate, or click on sections that interested you. When you want to look closer at an image, use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in. To enlarge the exhibition, click the Prezi button in the lower right-hand corner.

Willy Lit Fest 2020: Authors of Hobsons Bay

Hobsons Bay Libraries is a proud supporter of the Williamstown Literary Festival, one of the country’s most respected wordfests which attracts some of Australia’s best loved authors. In partnership with the festival, we’re bringing together the literary history of Hobsons Bay with today's homegrown authors to celebrate the area's vibrant culture of reading and writing in this online exhibition.

Willi Lit Fest Logo horizontal 513 x 285px












Libraries in Altona North photographic exhibition

Join us in celebrating the library with an exhibition chronicling five decades of libraries in the area, beginning with the Altona East library in 1965, and taking us all the way up to the present day.

1966 Altona East Branch Library commemorative postcard cropped 2












Williamstown Lacrosse Club: a Long, Proud History

The Williamstown Lacrosse Club was established in 1898 and in the following years quickly became the largest sporting club in Williamstown, fielding sides in all grades of the then Victorian Amateur Lacrosse Association. By 1936 the club established a record when it fielded 8 teams and had 139 registered players, which reputedly made Williamstown Lacrosse the largest amateur sporting club in the Southern Hemisphere.

rsz wlc 1899 team photo cropped and resized












The History of Recorded Sound

Experiments in capturing sound for preservation and reproduction began during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, with many more attempts to record and reproduce sound made during the latter half of the 19th century.
These efforts culminated in the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison in 1877. After a century of refinement in analog recording technologies, digital recording emerged in the late 20th century and has since flourished with the popularity of digital music and online streaming services

turntable 2786528 1920 cropped for website












The Truganina Explosives Reserve Preservation Society

Located opposite Kooringal Golf Course on Queen Street, the Truganina Explosives Reserve has a unique history. In operation from 1901 to 1962, the reserve was used to store civilian explosives for mining and construction purposes. 

The large reserve included 55 storage magazines, jetty, offices, stables, and two residences, for the Keeper and the Under Keeper. The magazines and jetty were connected by a narrow-gauge horse-drawn tramway. The Keeper's Quarters and some other buildings have recently been restored by the Truganina Explosives Reserve Preservation Society, The Men's Shed and Hobsons Bay City Council. View the presentation online by clicking on the image below.

rsz truganina explosives reserve original image



Creating Community in Melbourne’s West 

Since the 1970s the LGBTQIA+ community has been creating a home in Melbourne’s inner-west. From Gay-Skate in Footscray to the infamous Sunshine ‘Gay’ Girl article, this exhibition tells the story of the communities’ journey for recognition and understanding from the 1970s until today.

This unique exhibition is a celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture, history, evolution, and its ongoing connection with the western suburbs.

View the presentation online by clicking on the image below.

rsz dennis ian and richard gayskate footscray c1982








Australian Queer Archives logo Midsumma Festival logoNational Trust Australian Heritage Festival


Interested in hosting an exhibition?

If you are interested in having an exhibition, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..