One important role of the Museum is in fostering a research community interested in Chinese-Australian history and heritage in Australia. We do this by hosting and participating in conferences, seminars and workshops, providing research resources, and through engagements with the research communities. The Museum maintains a research library and archive. We also undertake in-house research to further understand our collection and as part of the development of exhibitions and public programs.

Research Activities

Language, A Key to Survival: Cantonese-English Phrasebooks in Australia, 2012-2013

Saving Australia’s Early Chinese Memories, 2010-2013

Dragon Tails Conferences

To learn more about research activities undertaken by the museum from 1999 to 2008, please click this link: Previous Research Activities

Research Library

The Chinese Museum’s Research Library is a private library primarily used by Museum staff and volunteers in the development of exhibitions and public programs. It is also available for use, by appointment, to Museum Members. You can search the library’s catalogue on Librarything. Visit

To sign up as a museum member, please click here. If you are a Museum Member and would like to make an appointment to use the library, kindly send a request via email [email protected]

The Museum welcomes donations of fiction and non-fiction books, university theses, academic papers centred on the Chinese in Australia. If you have materials that you would like to offer to the Museum, please fill out this form and send it via email to [email protected]

Research Advice

There is a growing interest in China and the history and heritage of the Chinese in Australia. The museum responds to research enquiries as promptly as possible but due to limited staffing, there may be delays in doing so. We thank you in advance for your patience. 

For general advice on researching Chinese in Australia, please refer to our Guide to Chinese-Australian Family Research. We encourage those undertaking family histories to contact one of the Chinese-Australian family history groups around Australia. Details of these groups are in also listed in the Guide.

In Melbourne, the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria ( meets once a month at the Chinese Museum. The group provides an opportunity for individuals researching their family histories (or those of others) to meet, share their research, and exchange tips and suggestions. To attend the meeting as a guest, please contact the CAFHOV Secretary at [email protected]

Please note that the Chinese Museum does not offer valuation or translation services, nor do we offer advice on the identification of Chinese antiques.

The Australian Government maintains an updated list of approved valuers with expertise in Asian artefacts on its website. Please click this link to access the list:

You can find a translator via the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (

Below are the Chinese Museum’s Research Guides:

Research queries should be sent via email to our Curator at ([email protected]).