Local history books for sale


The following publications are available for sale from Yarra Libraries.

Purchase local history publications online

Fitzroy: Melbourne's First Suburb
Fitzroy History Society, Cutten History Committee
Fitzroy has had a chequered history. It has never lacked characters from the top-hatted gentry, the factory workers, the small-time criminal and later to the young professionals and the café set. Contributors to this book include architects, historians and those who have participated in Fitzroy’s history.

The Melbourne Fringe: a retrospective walk
By Miles Lewis
A self-guided walk that takes in the area between Nicholson and Brunswick Streets, Fitzroy.

North Fitzroy Conservation Study
Jacobs Lewis Vines, Architects; Australian Heritage Commission
The purpose of this study was to undertake surveys and bring together existing data regarding the architectural and historic nature of North Fitzroy.  

South Fitzroy Conservation Study
Jacobs Lewis Vines, Architects; Australian Heritage Commission
The purpose of this study was to undertake surveys and bring together existing data regarding the architectural and historic nature of South Fitzroy.

Fitzroy: a descriptive bibliography

Carole Woods


A bibliography that aims to give an overall impression of sources relevant to the history of Fitzroy.

Social Justice Walk Around Fitzroy
Brian Stagoll (ed.)
A self-guided walk that takes you through unique places in Fitzroy where many campaigns, innovations and reforms for social justice arose for the first time in Australia.

Gertrude Street Fitzroy
Jill Robertson
A history of Gertrude Street with information about all its buildings including
the 14 pubs that have existed on the street.

Fitzroy Town Hall: The Heart and Soul of Fitzroy
By Michael O’Brien

Bitter roots, sweet fruit: a history of schools in Collingwood, Abbotsford and Clifton Hill
Karen T Cummings
Documents every school of every type that has existed in the former municipality of Collingwood, and describes how the schools, kindergartens and colleges fitted in to Victorian educational development and the social and economic history of Collingwood.

Dimmeys of Richmond: the rise and fall of a family business 2007
The history of the Dimmeys retail chain.

A Short History of Collingwood
General history of the former City of Collingwood for the full period of its existence.

Brimstone to Bunyip: Churches of Collingwood, Clifton Hill & Abbotsford
Richard Peterson
A survey of the historic development of all the known churches and their ancillary buildings that exist or are known to have existed in the former City of Collingwood
Contains walk route, location guide & sketch plans

Collingwood historical postcards
85c each or $8 set of 12

Broken biscuits - the changing faces of Carlton
Mary Fisher. Collingwood: Yarra Melbourne Regional Library, 2005

Copping it sweet: shared memories of Richmond
Watson, Catherine. Melbourne : City of Richmond, Carringbush Regional Library, 1988
A social history of Richmond tracing the changes from the nineteenth century through to the twentieth century. Copping it sweet draws on the memories of those who have lived their lives in Richmond to create a picture of an ever changing community as it passes through the wars, depression, post war boom and into the 1980s.

Hard yakka: 100 years of Richmond industry

"I should be glad if some oaks and elms were included": the Darling Gardens, Clifton Hill
Recollections and important dates relating to the history of the Darling Gardens Clifton Hill

Life in Collingwood today
A selection of black and white photos from the Bicentennial photographic competition held by the Collingwood Historical Society

The Fitzroy Public Library 1877 - 1997: A History
Carole Woods
A history of the Fitzroy Library from its founding in 1877, as one of the oldest free public libraries in Australia.

When Fish Had Feathers
Andrew Lindsay
Portraits of Collingwood's older men

Jungle Ball with Diamonds: Portraits of Collingwood’s Younger Men and Women
Text by Andrew Lindsay in collaboration with the participants. Photographs by Chris Andjelic-Lane and the project participants.
This is the third book in the Oral Histories series produced by North Yarra Community Health about the Collingwood area.

Missionaries, Radicals, Feminists A History of North Yarra Community Health
Hamish Townsend
Established by John Singleton in 1869 in gold rush Melbourne and based on British models, the Collingwood Free Medical Mission Dispensary was among the first of its kind in Australia.

John King: The story of the only member of the Burke and Wills expedition to cross Australia from south to north and return to Melbourne alive
Marian Turnbull
In the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton lie the graves of Burke, Wills and King the three explorers who successfully completed the crossing of the continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1861. But John King was the only one to return alive. This book tells the story of his childhood in Ireland during the famine, his career as a soldier in the Indian Mutiny, and the meeting which brought him to Melbourne.

Carlton Girls born and bred: The story of Ruth Bailey ... and her mother ... and her grandmother ... and her daughters
Margaret Rich
Ruth Blackburn's childhood home was a stone's throw from the Carlton Gardens.
From her memories, recorded in 2010 for the Carlton Community History Group, there emerges a colourful personality with impressive powers of recall who paints a vivid picture of the evolving Carlton she loved so much.

The Inner Circle line: the Melbourne suburban rail line that disappeared 
Jeff Atkinson
This book tells the story of the development of Melbourne’s suburban rail lines and in particular of the ill-conceived Inner Circle line that ran through the inner Northern suburbs from 1888 until it’s final closure ninety years later. It tells of the political events that led to the line being built, the life and death incident occurred along the line when it was in operation, and after it had closed the struggle of a resident’s group to have the land and the station building converted into facilities for community use.

The Stockade : Carlton's forgotten prison and the people who inhabited it
Jeff Atkinson
One hundred and fifty years ago, the site of what is now the Carlton North Primary School was a prison - a low security gaol for petty offenders. Known as the Collingwood Stockade (the name 'Carlton' was not yet in use) it opened in 1853 and operated for 13 years until 1866, when it became an asylum for the insane, and later a school. This book tells the story of the Collingwood Stockade and the people who inhabited it – individuals who served their sentences there breaking up stones for 'road metal', warders, some of whom gained a notorious reputation, and the Superintendents who ran the place. The book resurrects a long forgotten aspect of Carlton's past – and gives a vivid picture of the penal system in Victoria at the time of the gold rush.

Some Women of Davis Street: 1891 and 2008
Judith Biddington
Why Women of Davis Street? A chapter in They Are But Women : the Road to Female Suffrage in Victoria looked at some women who lived in Davis Street and who signed a 'monster' petition in 1891 calling on the Victorian Government to grant votes to women. Women were finally granted the right to vote in 1908. So in 2008 it seemed appropriate to talk with women currently living in Davis Street and examine their attitude to the achievement of that goal.

Through the eyes of a child: A street in Carlton 1939-45

Paintings & Commentary by Des Norman


Des Norman (1930-2015) has been a noted artist and educator in Melbourne for over five decades. As a painter of narrative subjects, he has examined many aspects of Australian life. In this work he has returned to his childhood in World War 2 Dorrit Street Carlton, to recover and share a particularly formative Australian experience.

The Troublesome American: The story of Charles Ferguson, foreman on the Burke and Wills Expedition
Jeff Atkinson
This book was published to mark the 150th anniversary of the Burke and Wills Expedition, which started and ended in Carlton. It was from Royal Park that it departed - and it is in the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton that the remains of both Burke and Wills and the sole survivor John King lie. The book focuses on one member of the expedition, a controversial one who also happened to be American.