Since 2001 our volunteers have been building the massive Outward Passenger List Index.
Up to 60 volunteers each week meticulously transcribe names and other personal details from original documents. These transcriptions are data entered and checked, ensuring the new archive provides the highest possible quality of information.
The Index currently holds over 1,000,000 passenger names, and has been an immensely popular tool among researchers and curious family history seekers. This year it is planned to update the index to include passenger lists from 1904 to approximately 1911.
The stories emerging from these passenger lists continue to give volunteers a great deal of personal satisfaction and enjoyment.
Volunteer tour guides
Volunteers conduct regular behind-the-scenes tours of the reading room and repository at the Victorian Archives Centre, treating visitors to a rare sample of the wealth of records and artefacts cared for by Public Record Office Victoria.
Volunteers often carry out extra research into the treasures they discover, adding significant value to the public experience.
The Koorie Index of Names (KIN) is part of a larger project aimed at improving access to records of the Stolen Generations.
Each week 16 volunteers inspect the correspondence generated by the Board of Protection for Aborigines. This series contains correspondence that is both diverse and challenging for the volunteers: many people mentioned are not named, and often family relationships are obscure.
The volunteers working on this project have a specialist background in research, a comprehensive understanding of Victorian history and a commitment to the reconciliation process. This stimulating work has provided those involved with a profound connection to the history and experience of Victorian Koorie people.
Volunteers frequently transcribe documents for many purposes, including presentation in Public Record Office Victoria publications and online and travelling exhibitions.
Volunteers are required to decipher old handwriting, idiosyncratic shorthand, and annotations scrawled across typeface in their efforts to make these historical vignettes legible and digitally accessible for contemporary audiences.
Involvement in these projects provides tangible access to the events and characters that have defined Victoria ‘s cultural heritage.
Volunteer transcriptions have been used in some of our popular exhibitions, including Tracking the Native Police, 150 Years of Petitions in Victoria and Ned Kelly Online.