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Establishment

The Victorian Music Library was established in 1974 under the Federal Government Innovations Grants. Application for the grant was made by two string teachers from the Victorian Education Department Instrumental Division as a result of research and needs of teachers at professional development days. The application was made on behalf of string teachers, students and the community who urgently needed ready access to print music to stimulate and encourage the playing of string music for students and school string ensembles. (Most string music was and is still a low priority music import into Australia).

The original agreement was for the following:
  • The Federal government would initially provide establishment monies for the purchase of sheet music for string players - solo and string ensemble.
  • The funds for location and staffing would be provided by the Department of Education. There was to be input from the community.
  • The library was established to aid schools, music teachers and music students and was to provide community access, as well as support all musicians.
  • Access to the library would stimulate and support the performance of instrumental music by providing string solo, chamber ensemble, choral and orchestral music etc. for VCE, Australian Music Examinations Board and other ensemble performances.
Name changes

The Victorian Music Library has gone through a number of name changes reflecting the content of the sheet music collection. It was originally known as the “String Music Library” and then the Victorian Educational Music Library. Since the early 1980s it has been known by its current name, “The Victorian Music Library”.

Location changes

The Victorian Music Library was initially housed at Camberwell High School and during that time was required to move to three different locations within the school. Later the library was moved to Graham St. Primary School in Port Melbourne, followed by a further relocation to Moreland City College. The latter two moves have been within the last eight years.

In 2006 the VML moved again, as the Moreland City School site was to be renovated for other purposes within the Education Department. The VML sheet music was therefore packed into approx. 1,000 boxes by voluntary staff and relocated yet again, along with a large array of library shelving, to its current home at The Uniting Church Archives, 64-66 Orrong Road, Elsternwick, Victoria 3185.