I Archives

The Archives of the Baptist Union of Victoria

Level 1/1193 Toorak Rd Camberwell 3124
Tel (03)9880 6100 Fax (03) 9880 6123

Archivist (Hon.):

Dr John Sampson (address and telephone as above)

Charter, including functions and services:

  1. To acquire material relevant to the life and work of Baptists and the Baptist churches in Victoria - manuscript, printed, photographic, audio, audio-visual, movie, video, artefacts
  2. To conserve, catalogue, index and house such material
  3. To make such material available, under supervision, to bona fide researchers, both Baptist and non-Baptist
  4. To engage in research
  5. To publicize the holdings and the services offered


Mondays 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. (not public holidays) and other times by appointment.


All researchers must sign an appropriate form, giving personal details, reason for access and agreement to the conditions set out below.

The regulations governing the archives are as follows:

  1. No documents or other objects are to be removed from the premises.
  2. All who request facilities for research must before admission, sign an application, in which they undertake to abide by the general and special rules of the archives.
  3. There is no open access to boxes of original documents, photographs, etc. kept on the shelves.
  4. The number of documents issued to any person at one time shall be limited, at the discretion of the supervisor
  5. Documents shall not be consulted by a researcher except in the presence of a supervisor.
  6. Documents made available are not to be replaced in the archive shelves, but must be placed on a shelf labelled “Documents returned after use”.

Special regulations for researchers

If a researcher intends any publication, or even a thesis or any other paper for a university or any similar institution, the following undertakings must be given:

  1. Not to copy any holding of the archives in any form without special permission
  2. Not to publish any original holding of the archives without due permission
  3. Not to publish any information obtained from the holdings of the archives without permission
  4. Before publication, to submit all work based on the holdings of the archives to the approval of the archivist or his delegate
  5. To acknowledge in a form approved by the archivist the source of all original material used
  6. To provide the archives with a copy of any work which is a result of research in the archives
  7. If required by the archivist, to sign a document indemnifying the Baptist Union of Victoria and the archivist against any liability for defamation or other action arising from publication by the researcher


Generally free to researchers on Baptist history; otherwise a fee for all access. Copying and postage costs to be reimbursed



  • Baptist Association of Victoria 1858-72
  • Baptist Association of Victoria Assembly 1863-91
  • Baptist Association of Victoria/ Baptist Union of Victoria Council (or Executive Council) 1888-
  • Baptist Association of Victoria/Baptist Union of Victoria Executive Committee 1872-1906
  • Baptist College of Victoria 1912-44
  • Baptist Training Institute 1949-71
  • Baptist Union of Victoria-Assembly 1892 -
  • Baptist Union of Victoria General Committee/Council 1912-87
  • Baptist Union of Victoria Immigration Committee 1958-69
  • Baptist Union of Victoria Loan and Sustentation Committee 1915-57
  • Baptist Union of Victoria Planning Council 1972-77
  • Baptist Women’s Association/Fellowship - Executive 1947-1987; Council 1964-87
  • Baptist Women’s Missionary Union 1901-40
  • Christian Education Department Council 1957-75
  • Christian Endeavour Committee 1908-25, 1928-31
  • Committee for Evangelism 1948-1955, 1964-1974
  • Home Mission Society-Committee 1871-1977 Executive 1914-29, 1931-57
  • Victorian Baptist Foreign Mission Society-Executive Committee 1939-55
  • Victorian Baptist Foreign Mission Society 1951 -
  • Victorian Baptist Fund 1889 - 1995


  • Baptist Association of Victoria/Baptist Union of Victoria 1877-86, 1889-1902, 1906-12, 1930-80
  • Baptist College of Victoria 1928-39
  • Home Mission Society 1880-1903


Directories/Handbooks 1892 -


  • Australian Baptist 1913-1991 (years 1922-25, 1927-29, 1938, 1942 missing or incomplete)
  • Australasian Baptist Magazine, Oct. 1859 July 1858-June 1860
  • Australian Evangelist 1861-66
  • Baptist Home Missionary 1893-96
  • Baptist Woman 1946-49
  • Kerang Home Missionary 1885-96
  • Korumburra Baptist Herald Dec. 1934-Nov. 1935, May 1942, Sept 1944
  • National Baptist 1988- 2002
  • Propagandist 1921-30
  • Southern Baptist 1895-1912
  • Victorian Baptist 1890-4
  • Victorian Baptist Magazine 1869
  • Victorian Baptist Witness 1931- (now published only on-line)
  • Victorian Freeman 1876-89


Statistical returns 1885 -

Material available for particular needs

Files, greatly varying in their contents, on over 1000 persons and on most churches

Local church history - a number of histories of local churches

Churches - records of certain defunct churches


Comprehensive catalogue to the system

Card indexes: general topics, all ministers, pastors, home missionaries, photographs (in process)

Index to obituaries (in process, up to 1926)

Photocopier; Researcher’s room

II Historical Society

Victorian Baptist Historical Society

(Est. July 1982)

The Society is an affiliated body of the Baptist Union of Victoria

Charter: These are the objects of the Society as set out in its Constitution:

The object of the Society shall be to promote and support the work of The Baptist Union of Victoria (hereinafter referred to as “the Union”) by

(a) promoting interest in and research of the history of Baptists in Victoria
(b) the publication of papers, articles, books, audio and visual materials relating to such history
(c) assisting the Union in the preservation of archival and other historical materials
(d) advising churches and other bodies concerning the preservation of their historical records
(e) affiliating with other historical organizations
(f) doing other things which may be found to be of benefit to the accomplishment of its basic object of supporting the Union by historical research.

Contact person

Secretary, Victorian Baptist Historical Society, c/- PO Box 377 Hawthorn 3122


The subscription is $25 a year for individuals ($18 for pensioners and students; $15 for those living outside a 50km radius from the GPO) and $15 for churches. This entitles the member to receive all newsletters, notices of meetings and other activities and the annual Our Yesterdays.

Newsletter: Published three times a year (March, June and November). It is free; back copies are generally available or can be photo-copied.


See above under the heading of Archives.


  • Baptist Pioneer, Joseph Wilson, Victorian, L. J. Hutchinson (1985)
  • Commencement of Baptist Witness in Victoria, B. S. Brown (1989)
  • David Rees - a Father of Union, T. H.. Crago (1985)
  • Our Yesterdays (an annual containing the texts of lectures; and research articles (1993- ))
  • The Past as Present, H. R. Swanson (1984)
  • The Rev. Dr F. W. Boreham, T. H. Crago (1986)
  • Victoria’s First Baptist Services, B. S. Brown (1985)
  • Writing a Local Church History, L. L Newnham (1993)

III General

Current Publications

Annual Handbook of the Baptist Union of Victoria

The Victorian Baptist Witness

Standard Publications

  • Baptists in Victoria; Our First Century, F. J. Wilkin (1939)
  • Centenary History of the Victorian Baptist Fund 1888-1988, D. M. Himbury (1988)
  • Members One of Another: the Baptist Union of Victoria, B. S. Brown (1962)
  • Great is Thy Faithfulness - a Century of Work and Witness in Northern Victoria 1877-1977, Eric J. Daley (Kerang: NDBA, 1977)

IV Other Relevant Bodies

Other Baptist Institutions

Global InterAction (formerly Australian Baptist Missionary Society/Foreign Mission), 597 Burwood Road, Hawthorn Vic. 3122 (see separate entry)

Carey Baptist Grammar School, Barkers Road, Kew Vic. 3101 (documents relevant to the school)

Whitley College, 271 Royal Parade, Parkville Vic. 3052


  • Baptist history - British and Australian
  • Theology, including collections of sermons
  • Books by W. T. Whitley, F. W. Boreham


Incomplete holdings of Baptist periodicals, including -

  • Baptist Magazine
  • Baptist Record
  • Southern Baptist
  • Victorian Baptist
  • Victorian Freeman


Baptist yearbooks and directories


  • Frank William Boreham (1871-1959): A Select Bibliography, I. F. McLaren (1997)
  • Whitley: the Baptist College of Victoria, Roslyn Otzen (1991)

Access to this collection is by arrangement with the college librarian.

Other Academic Bodies

Public Record Office, City Search Room, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Vic. 3000
(Indexes to births and deaths, shipping registers etc)

Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 280 William Street, Melbourne Vic. 3000
(Documents etc relevant to Victorian history in general)

State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne Vic. 3000 Tel +61 3 8664 7000. Catalogue accessible on Web site: http://www.slv.vic.gov.au

SLV is the main repository for all Victorian historical materials, especially newspapers, electoral rolls, municipal and other directories; includes only a small number of Baptist related items in the Australian Manuscripts Collection (including diaries and photograph of Rev. F.W. Boreham (1946-59). Some categories of material may be housed off-site requiring 24 hour access, or in special collections retrieved at fixed times throughout the day.