CHSI has been collecting archival material since its formation in 1965. Comprehensive, detailed and inclusive cataloguing and indexing commenced in the 1990s.

The CHSI Collection is a mostly paper-based archive relating to the history of Castlemaine and the former Mount Alexander goldfields district. The collection contains published and unpublished documents, local and Victorian government records, archival material, indexes of local history resources, newspapers, maps and plans and visual material.

The collection covers many key themes, events, stories and people associated with the history of Castlemaine, and the former Mount Alexander goldfields district.

There are extensive holdings of church, school, business and municipal records which tell many stories associated with local people, places, institutions and organisations, local governance, events, industry and businesses. Many of the holdings provide information about local business and family life not held elsewhere.

The rich and diverse Archival Collection of over 350 metres shelf length is housed in purpose – built archival storage facilities. It is accessed by a very large data base, “Histsoc” and an extensive number of unique indexes. It is stored in a very large InMagic DB/Text database of over 70,000 entries, customised to our specific needs, which we call ‘HistSoc’. The database management system has powerful search capabilities yet to be managed by non-IT staff, who can complete simple through to intricate searches.