Our mission

The SVHM Archives is a cultural collection dedicated to the story of St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne.   We collect, preserve and encourage engagement with items dating from St Vincent's foundation in 1893 to the present day.   Areas of particular interest include the hospital's founders, Mission, and people; its growth and development; its areas of key responsibility and achievement; and the social context in which it has operated.  


Highlights of the Collection

The collection is a very deep and rich one, providing wonderful insight into the diverse activities of the hospital through the years.   

Collection highlights include:

  • leather-bound casebooks of early surgeons and physicians (1893 – 1910)*
  • records and memorabilia from the SVHM Nurses Training School
  • plans of major building developments
  • photographs and publicity material
  • annual reports
  • research papers of hospital historians
  • memoirs and papers of past staff
  • equipment and instruments linked to St Vincent’s innovations or personalities.

*Please note that most medical records other than these early casebooks are managed by the Health Information Services department and first enquiry to access medical records should be via that department.

How the collection is used

The collection has been used by both those within the hospital and by the broader community.

Within the hospital the collection has been used to support communication, fundraising and Mission activities.   It has also been used to confirm facts & dates needed by areas as disparate as Engineering and Finance, Service Development, HR and Legal.   It has been used in the celebration of organizational and personal milestones, including St Vincent's 125th anniversary in 2018, the 110th anniversary of the St Vincent's Clinical School in 2020 and the centenary of the St Vincent's Nurses Alumni in 2023.

The collection has also been used for:

  • Orientation and educational activities
  • Campus and collection tours
  • Alumni reunions
  • Source material for publications and films
  • Academic research
  • Genealogical research
  • Exhibitions and displays
  • Inspiration for artist-in-residence and other artistic projects.


The Hospital Archivist can be contacted by email or telephone 9231 3040 (Tuesday – Friday).

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