The print volume of the Encyclopedia of Melbourne was published in 2005 by Cambridge University Press. The Encyclopedia is an A to Z reference work covering the city's history from pre-European settlement up to the present day. Alphabetical entries range from short factual summaries about places, institutions and events, through to extended survey articles on key topics such as Architecture, Aboriginal Melbourne, Economy, Foundation and Early Settlement, Law and Order, Literature, Science, Sport, Suburbia, Theatre and Transport. Although Australia has long ranked amongst the world's most urbanised countries, no comparable reference work exists on any Australian metropolis. The online Encyclopedia of Melbourne - eMelbourne - now contains the full text of the print volume, with additional text and digital resources.
Early development of the online Encyclopedia of Melbourne was supported through a grant from the Australian Research Council Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training (SPIRT) Scheme, 2001-2. The project was led by Dr Andrew May at the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Professor Graeme Davison (Monash University), Professor Shurlee Swain (Australian Catholic University), and six industry partners.
The City of Melbourne has also provided assistance through an Art + Heritage Grant (2007).
The website has been produced by the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne, in association with The University of Melbourne's eScholarship Research Centre.