Architecture Museum

The Architecture Museum is a unique repository of architects’ and allied professionals’ records and a dynamic hub of research into South Australia’s architectural and built environment history.

Its research collection comprises more than 200,000 items donated by architects working in private practice in South Australia during the 20th century, particularly in the period circa 1910 to 1980. Materials include architectural drawings, correspondence, photographs and architects’ personal papers as well as a library of books, journals and trade literature.

The Architecture Museum is an invaluable resource for researchers from a range of disciplines, architects, planners, engineers, heritage consultants, historians and all those interested in the state’s built history and heritage. 

The Architecture Museum posts regularly on Instagram.


The Architecture Museum is a facility for the acquisition, preservation and management of architectural and related records produced by private practitioners based in South Australia. It aims to:

  • promote scholarly enquiry into South Australia’s built environment history
  • secure funding for research projects based on its collections
  • publish research outcomes from Museum-centred projects
  • arrange public exhibitions of its holdings.

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In the 1970s, in the absence of a repository in South Australia for retired private architectural practitioners to deposit their records, architectural historian Donald Leslie Johnson began collecting their archives. In 1990 he donated the collection to the School of the Built Environment at the South Australian Institute of Technology, a predecessor institution of the University of South Australia. This collection of architectural drawings, ephemera and books was renamed the Architecture Museum in 2005.


The Architecture Museum is located in the School of Art, Architecture and Design and is managed by academic staff. It has an Advisory Group comprising members external to the University of South Australia and key internal personnel. The Museum is a member of the International Confederation of Architecture Museums (ICAM).

Higher Degree Research opportunities at the Architecture Museum

The Architecture Museum offers a diverse and rich array of sources for Higher Degree by Research (both PhD and Masters) projects in fields including: architecture, planning, built environment history and theory, interior architecture, visual art and design, social and cultural history. Architecture Museum staff are supervisors for higher degrees by research.

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Using the Museum collections

The Architecture Museum is housed in a purpose-built facility in the Kaurna Building at the City West campus of the University of South Australia.  It is open by appointment Monday to Wednesday 10am-4pm. Please contact us with enquiries about the collection and/or to arrange an appointment. 

Dr Julie Collins, Collections Manager
School of Art, Architecture and Design
University of South Australia
City West campus
Phone: +618 8302 9235

Dr Christine Garnaut, Museum Director
School of Art, Architecture and Design
University of South Australia
City West campus
Phone: +618 8302 0204

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Search Collection & Catalogue

The Architecture Museum holds more than 200,000 items, including approximately 20,000 drawings and a 2,000-volume library. The holdings relate to the work of private practitioners (the State Records of South Australia holds Government architects' records).

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Architects of SA

Architects of SA Database

Search this selection of South Australian architects from 1836 to the present day, detailing biographical information and built works.

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Publications are the outcomes of Architecture Museum projects. They are available in the Architecture Museum and in some instances via the University of South Australia catalogue.

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Architecture Museum Current Project


The Architecture Museum undertakes projects which focus on the Museum's collections and are managed or undertaken by its staff and students of the University of South Australia.


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The Architecture Museum mounts changing displays both in its dedicated display areas and in galleries in Adelaide and the metropolitan area.

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icam Australasia

icam Australasia is a regional network of the International Confederation of Architectural Museums (icam).

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