Not that hard: visiting the Geelong Heritage Centre

Geelong Heritage CentreI’ve heard on the grapevine that regular visitors to the Geelong Heritage Centre in the former Little Malop Street building have not started appearing at the new location in the National Wool Museum in Moorabool Street.

Despite working in Melbourne 5 days a week, I managed to visit the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre last week – I wasn’t sure what to expect but what a pleasant surprise – you don’t know what you’re missing!

This blog isn’t about repeating the information on the GHC web site – it’s aimed at making you feel comfortable about dropping in to the new centre for a visit and some research.  Explore the web site of the GHC to find out all the details: opening times, services, activities, events, bookshop, catalogue and much more.  And hopefully you won’t miss the great news that the new Geelong Heritage Centre is open FIVE days a week from 10.00 am.

Join me on my journey to the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre …

THE OLD GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

If you mistakenly go to the Old Geelong Heritage Centre site, this is what you would have been greeted with in November 2013.  It looks pretty forlorn but you’ll have a chance to see the artist’s impression of the magnificent new building for the Geelong Regional Library and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

 Old Geelong Heritage Centre site  Old Geelong Heritage Centre site  Old Geelong Heritage Centre site

If you’re standing looking at this and cursing at anyone you can think of, don’t get too frustrated – the location of the “new” centre is not that far away.

GETTING TO THE “NEW” GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

Make your way to the north east corner of Johnstone Park – on the way, enjoy the view of the Peace Memorial, Geelong Art Gallery and the Geelong Town Hall.  It’s amazing how many people haven’t seen these beautiful buildings from this angle.

From the corner of the Park, walk along Malop Street to the next intersection [Moorabool Street], turn left and before you get to the next intersection [Brougham Street] you’ll be at the site of the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre.

OTHER WAYS OF GETTING THERE:

There are also Park & Ride options in Geelong that you might find helpful.

The City of Greater Geelong also runs a Central Geelong Free Summer Shuttle Service that stops at the train station, the Waterfront, Geelong Botanic Gardens and other Central Geelong locations.  Contact the City or Tourist Information Centres for details.

THE “NEW” [INTERIM] GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE – WHERE:

Top Floor, National Wool Museum

26 Moorabool Street, Geelong

HOW TO FIND THE GHC at the NATIONAL WOOL MUSEUM:

The GHC is located on the top [third] floor of the National Wool Museum [below left, centre and right]

Go through the main doors between the National Wool Museum [red] and Geelong Heritage Centre [blue] banners.  [below centre and right]

 "New" Geelong Heritage Centre  "New" Geelong Heritage Centre  "New" Geelong Heritage Centre

Once you are through the doors, go to the desk on your left [below left].  Ask for your pass to go up to the Geelong Heritage Centre [below right].  You must wear this pass while you are in the building to use the Geelong Heritage Centre otherwise you will be asked to purchase a ticket for the National Wool Museum.  Don’t forget to return your lanyard and pass to the desk on your way out.

 GHC Front Desk  GHC Pass for all visitors

Access to the top floor is via the ramp through the National Wool Museum.  Go straight to the Geelong Heritage Centre – your pass is not a ticket to the Wool Museum!  The ramp is a very gentle slope to the top floor – if you have any concerns, ask at the front desk for a wheelchair.  Wool Museum volunteers cannot wheel you up to the Geelong Heritage Centre – you will need to be accompanied by someone who can help you.

Continue up the ramp until you see the huge stack of wool bales [below left], go up the ramp with the bales on your right [below centre] and you will notice two entrances in front of you [below right].

GHC Top Floor GHC Top Floor OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Go to the entrance on the left first as this contains the lockers [above right].

No bags are permitted in the Heritage Centre Reading Room so they should be placed in one of the lockers provided [below left].  Remember to take your key with you and keep it in a safe place.  Only pencils are permitted in the centre – if you don’t have one, you will find some in the Reading Room.

 GHC Lockers  GHC Entrance

Return to the entrance on the right [above right], go through the entrance and turn right.

INSIDE THE GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE READING ROOM:

The reception / enquiry desk is on your left inside the Reading Room, just past the shelves of publications for sale [below left].

Report to the desk [below left] and make sure you know how and where to find resources.

IMPORTANT: The Reading Room is on three levels with a few steps on each side of the room between each level.  There are good solid rails to hold as you move up or down the steps but if you feel you might have difficulty please speak to those on duty.  Where possible they will bring items to you for viewing on the top [entrance] level so you don’t have to use the steps.

 GHC Reception  GHC Reading Room  GHC Reading Room

From the entrance:

  • rows of bookshelves are on the right of the Reading Room on all levels [above right and below left and right]
  • computers, tables and chairs are on the left on the middle level [above centre and right]
  • microfiche, microfilms and readers are on the left on the lower level [below left and right].
 GHC Reading Room

 GHC Reading Room

The new Reading Room contains most of what was available in the old [demolished] Reading Room.

WHAT ISN’T IN THE “NEW” GHC READING ROOM:

There is no direct access to the Archives at the GHC Reading Room.  Mind you, very few people ever used these archives in the old [demolished] centre – and only PART of the Archives were held in Little Malop Street anyway!

It was Murphy’s Law that the item you wanted to view was stored off-site in which case you needed to order it in advance and wait for it to be available [a couple of weeks].  So really, nothing has changed!

Make use of the GHC web site to search the Archives and order the relevant item(s) or check to ensure that what you want to view is available when you visit.  And don’t forget that many of the more popular archives have been filmed and are available to view on microfilm in the “new” Heritage Centre.

The GHC now has a terrific new scanner which means items on film or fiche can be scanned and saved as an image – don’t forget to bring your USB drive with you!

ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO THE “NEW” GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

Without doubt, the “new” / interim Geelong Heritage Centre Reading Room is absolutely delightful.  It’s fresh, well laid out, and very inviting.  Do yourself a favour and drop in for some research.

GEELONG REGIONAL LIBRARY:

If you’re still standing at the demolition site in Little Malop Street and wondering where the library has gone, just look behind you – it’s in the Government Offices – the upside down pyramid building [below right].

 Geelong Regional Library  Geelong Regional Library

Geelong Heritage Centre … moved

National Wool MuseumIf you haven’t caught up with the news, the Geelong Heritage Centre has moved while the new Library and Heritage Centre is built on the site of the old premises.

The Heritage Centre is currently closed during the move and will re-open on Thursday 27th June on the 3rd floor of the National Woold Museum at 26 Moorabool Street, Geelong.

The good news – the Heritage Centre will be open Mon-Fri 10.00 am – 5.00 pm.  This will make things a lot easier for visitors to the region as they can make a “long weekend” of their visit and go to the Heritage Centre on a Monday or Friday.

IMPORTANT: Much of the Heritage Centre Archives are now stored off-site and you will need to order certain items in advance AND check that they are ready for your visit.  Keep checking the Heritage Centre web site for details.

It’s also important to make use of the Geelong Record Series Catalogue and other finding aids to ensure your visit is productive.

In the meantime, enjoy the extended opening hours!

Geelong Heritage Centre: Open Day

For those who struggle to get to the Geelong Heritage Centre during the week [open Tue-Thu] here’s a great opportunity.

The Centre will be open on Sunday 17th April from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm to co-incide with the Geelong Heritage Festival.

See the Geelong & District Events calendar for full details.  While you’re there, have a look at the other events in Geelong & District.

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