Unley Museum

Capture a snapshot of Unley's past and present through vibrant and interactive exhibitions.

Location & Opening Hours

80 Edmund Ave, Unley
Ph 8372 5117
Free entry

Monday to Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Sunday 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Closed Public Holidays

Museum News

The City of Unley is a trove of history, secrets and stories of the past.  Visit the Unley Museum and uncover the mysteries and tales of our city through our changing exhibitions of photographs, objects and interactive displays.

The Museum collects and exhibits photographs, household items, artefacts, tools, and all sorts of interesting objects from the lives of the people who have lived here. The Museum is packed with exhibitions and activities, interesting facts and stories, historic photographs, strange and interesting objects, games to play and more.  The Museum is great FREE, fun day out for everyone.

We have 12,000 items to discover.  Find out about the Sturt Football Club’s first player badge or read the diary of a 1850s gardener, there is something for everyone.

Unley Museum Wins MAGNA Award for Innovative Exhibition
Unley Museum has won the MAGNA Award for Best Permanent Exhibition recognising its new exhibition, 
Unley: 200 Years of Change.
The MAGNA Awards (Museums and Galleries National Awards) are Museum Australia’s annual awards to recognise achievements within the museum and arts sector nationally.



Unley: 200 Years of Change
Winner of the 2016 MAGNA Award for best permanent exhibition, Unley: 200 Years of Change traces two centuries of change from the original inhabitants, the Kaurna People to Unley today.  The exhibition is packed with interactive displays, touchable and useable objects, videos, photographs and objects that uncover the stories that have shaped our city.

At Home, in War Until 2018
World War I timeline of local and global events with objects from the collection. Try your hand at Morse Code, play our war strategy game and relax in a 1920s den.

Coming Up

Terrible Tales of Unley
Launching 26 October 2016
Mystery, murder, fire and floods this exhibition explores Unley’s dark secrets and strange occurrences. Try your hand a lock picking, crack the safe code and try to solve an Unley mystery in this interactive display.
Adelaide Gaol 175th Anniversary Exhibition
4 December – 31 January 2017

Activities & Resources

Find out more about Unley from our local history resources. Join us for an historic walk, or discover who lived in your home.
  • Education Programs
    Our exciting hands-on education programs are aligned to the national education curriculum. To make a school booking or discuss tailored programs contact the Museum Curator at museum@unley.sa.gov.au or 8372 5117.
  • Local History Resources
    Are you researching your family history, curious about the name of your suburb, interested in who owned the local bakery, or doing a school project? The Unley Museum has resources such as photographs, books, oral history tapes and historical records that you can use for research and information purposes.

    Resources are available to view at the Museum. 

    The Museum can conduct some research on your behalf for a fee of $15-30 (depending upon complexity).
    Photograph Reproductions
    We can provide hard copy photographic reproductions for a minimum fee of $25 per photograph.
    The Museum sells a range of local history publications, cards and mementoes. 

  • Discover Historic Unley
    If you are interested in the stories behind the old buildings around the Unley Civic Centre, download our newest self-guided walking tour Discover Historic Unley. A hard copy of the brochure is available at the Unley Libraries and Civic Centre and Museum. Just ask a staff member!
  • House Histories
    You can discover all about your house and its past owners through the Museum's House History research service. And it will only cost you $30.

    Who slept in your bedroom? Who cooked in your kitchen?

    To request a House History, fill in the form or contact the museum on 8372 5117.

    Please allow for approximately 2 months turn around.


Our collection of more than 12,000 photographs and objects has grown from the generous donations of Unley people.  We love all kinds of photographs and objects.  If you have items related to Unley that you would like to donate for the preservation of our recent and past history please feel free to email images to us or make an appointment with the Museum Curator to bring them in to consider.  In particular we are looking for advertising, domestic objects and clothing from the 1950s-1980s.

  • Search the Collection
    You can search the Museum's collection through the Unley Libraries' online catalogue from the catalogue computers in the library or from your home computer.

    To search, simply select the Advanced Search option and type in your desired keywords then select Loc: Unley Museum from the Limits box and click on the red arrow to submit your search. If you want to view all of the Museum's holdings just put a * in the keywords Search By box and select Loc: Unley Museum from the Limits box then click on the red arrow to submit your search. Please note that as it will bring back every holding for the Museum the list will be very long!

    It is important that you note the shelf location for the item that you are interested in viewing. Photographs are available to view at the Museum during open hours. If you are interested in viewing other items in the collection, please make a time with the Curator, by ringing 8372 5117.
  • Would you like to donate to our collection?
    If you have an item you would like to donate to the Museum, contact the curator on 8372 5117.

    The museum accepts donations that are:
    • Associated with people, events, places and themes in Unley's history
    • Valued by sections of the Unley community for social, economic, cultural, religious or spiritual reasons
    • Demonstrate important social customs in Unley
    • Were once commonly available and represent changing trends in the daily lives of people in Unley
    • Designed, manufactured or used in Unley
    • Demonstrate important social or technological changes in Unley
    • Reflect personal histories of Unley residents

    The more of these categories that the item can fit into, the better it is for the museum and its collection. In deciding to accept an item the Unley Museum must ensure that:
    • The intending donor has legal title
    • It is free of encumbrances
    • It has clearly established provenance
    • It has potential for research, interpretation and exhibition
    • It has definitive documentation and/or relationships to other objects within the collection
    • The condition consists of minor wear or damage, minimal staining and no insects
    • It does not duplicate other material within the collection

    Since ALL of the above must be confirmed, items generally cannot be accepted when they are initially brought to our attention. Research and comparison to the collection can take time.

    If you are thinking of donating an item, contact the curator by phone on 8372 5117, to discuss your donation and make an appointment during open hours: Monday - Wednesday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1.30-4.30pm.

Friends of the Unley Museum

Interested in the history of Unley and the preservation of its local stories? Become a friend of the Unley Museum!

Members help promote the facilities and services of the Unley Museum to the wider community. They initiate and financially assist with Museum projects including research, promotion and conservation of its impressive collection of photographs, documents and historical objects.  Members receive up to date Museum news, are invited to special events, guided bus tours and meetings and support the growth and continuation of the Museum.
For just $10 per year for an individual, $15 per family or $30 for a business you can become a member and have an impact on the preservation of our local history.  

Contact friendsunleymuseum@gmail.com for further information.