New Library – Help Wanted for Moorabbin Aviation Museum, Australia

Moorabbing Aviation Museum, Victoria Australia. [photo by MAM]

The Moorabbin Air Museum, Australia, is embarking on its biggest project in its 60 year history. Situated at Moorabbin Airport in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, the Museum has one of the most significant collections of aircraft and engines in the country. As well as the most comprehensive collection of Australian designed and built aircraft, the museum is also keen to provide public access to a number of aircraft on display, allowing visitors inside cockpits and cabins where possible. (Open year round with only a few exceptions details of the hours and ticket prices can be found here.)

The Museum was recently granted additional land opposite the existing site, which allows for all aircraft to be finally undercover for the first time. In addition, the plan includes the construction of a purpose-built three storey archive, research and library facility.

A model of the proposed museum display hangar. While archives are not as visually appealing, they are just as vital. [photo by James Kightly]
Ewan McArthur, General Manager of the museum, explains: The Museum holds one of the biggest collections of aviation archival material in the Southern Hemisphere, with books and documents going back as far as 1876, and including some incredibly rare material. We need this building especially so as to create a hub for students, historians, authors, researchers and more, where they can come in, view materials in the reading rooms and order copies as required.

McArthur continued “Our current Library and Archive area is in dire need of an upgrade, to say the least! Cold, leaky and most items in deep storage. It lacks the necessary resources and modern technology to meet the growing demands of our collection, which is now one of the biggest aviation resources in the Southern Hemisphere. With your help, we can create a modern and innovative Library, Research and Archival Centre that will be a valuable resource for the Museum and for researchers worldwide for many years to come. Our goal is to create a Center that offers cutting-edge technology and resources to help researchers, historians, engineers, students and aviation enthusiasts gain access to information, research, and education going back over 100 years. We envision a center that provides a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of the community.”

To make this vision a reality, the museum is seeking donations from people like you. Your contribution will help us acquire the necessary resources, materials, and technology to create a state-of-the-art Library, Research, and Archival Center.

Your donation will help the museum to:

  • Upgrade our technology to provide better access to digital resources
  • Create a space that is welcoming and accessible to all members of our community
  • Host educational programs and events for our community members
  • Preserve historical artifacts and documents for future generations
  • Continue with the digitization, cataloging, and preservation of our extensive library which already consists of over 1,300 boxes of documents, books and ephemera, nearly 500,000 microfiche drawings of aircraft records from Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, an extensive archive of Ansett Australia, and tens of thousands of photos, bromide slides, film, and much more.

“We believe that a modern and innovative Library, Research and Archival Centre will be an asset to not just our community, but many other museums and individuals around the world, and we hope that you will join us in making this a reality. Your donation, no matter how small, will go a long way towards helping us achieve our goal.”  added McArthur.

Just some of the archive treasures the museum wants to make safe and accessible. [photos by Moorabbin Aviation Museum]

“It is also incredibly important to get these materials into a protected, controlled environment where they won’t suffer from external elements. The total cost of the building is $1.5m however we are starting in smaller blocks and the current phase is for $250,000. donations over Au$2 are tax deductible (for Australian taxpayers) and there are opportunities for corporate naming rights to rooms or the whole facility.”

The link to GoFundMe is

[Ewan adds a note: For Australian taxpayers, as the Museum is a charity, anything over Au$2 is tax deductible. The Museum is incredibly grateful for all the support shown so far. There is so much ahead of us with the new facility plans, the donations coming in now help us move a lot of restoration projects forward. Many people have asked if they can donate via online banking – and the answer is absolutely! Here are the details: ANZ – Australian Aircraft Restoration Group, BSB 013-323, Account 496335751. Be sure to include your name as a reference ie NAMEDONATION so we can issue receipts to you. Thank you for your support!]


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