The Cultural Diversity Collection is a cross-collection of objects encompassing all of the History and Technology collections, both conceptually and practically, and considers cultural diversity in its broadest sense.

The only specific collections belonging to this wider collection are those not the current focus of other History and Technology collections. Some of the most important are gay and lesbian material, youth culture, ageing, homelessness, cultural affirmation and discrimination, sociology and social work, and volunteerism.

Cultural diversity encompasses all individual or community variations in our society, relating to self-definition and the definitions applied by others. It includes ethnicity, nationality, race, descent or ancestry, physical appearance and ability, language, age, health, location, political belief or activity, economic status, employment, industrial activity, gender and gender identity, sexual activity, marital status, religious belief or activity, ideologies and personal associations.

Significant items

  • Australian Children's Folklore Collection, regarded as one of the largest and most significant of its kind in the world.
  • Psychiatric Services Collection, including more than 800 objects recording the history of pre-1950s psychiatric institutions in Victoria.
  • Pentridge Prison collection, including 182 objects documenting the prison's structure and functions; and collections from several manufacturing organisations.
  • Immigration and Artistic Practice Collection.
  • Cambodian figurine collection.
  • Italian Historical Society Collection.
  • Cohen and Steinberg retail collections.
  • Immigration documents.
  • Postwar Hungarian community objects.

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