Some archival records are fragile and require special handling.
Over 120 Public Record Office Victoria volunteers help us preserve our state’s records by:
Removing old packing materials and processing records into new boxes, bag or sleeves.
Creating useful, searchable indexes or data.
Adding further value by digitising records or even transcribing the text of the records themselves.
To express your interest in volunteering, attend a volunteer information session. Our most recent session was on 26 March 2015. Check this page again at the end of April, by which time we will have scheduled the next session.
Current volunteer projects
Project: Land Selection Correspondence
Volunteers are indexing 5903 boxes of correspondence between the Department of Crown Lands and people, companies and agencies. Recorded by name, allotment and parish of selectors. Processing 58% | Data Capture 58% | Publishing 55% | Est. completion date 2018.
Project: Soldier Settlement Correspondence
This project is cataloging 30,000 correspondence files, including records of the settlement of returned soldiers from World War One. This project will prepare content for the 2015 ANZAC centenary project Battle to Farm. Processing 100% | Data Capture 100% | Publishing 100% | Project completed December 2014!
Project: Criminal Trial Briefs
Volunteers are helping to preserve and index 227 boxes of 19th century criminal prosecution records. File listings include name, crime, court location and verdict. Indexing 100% | Checking 99% | Est. completion date 2015.
Project: La Trobe Correspondence
The aim of this project is to index and digitise 151 boxes of correspondence received by CJ La Trobe during his time as Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Victoria (1839 – 1851). Indexing 100% | Image Capture 100% | Publishing 72% | Est. completion date 2015.
Project: Register of Female Prisoners
This project is indexing and digitising records of the crimes and gaol sentences of female prisoners from 1857 to 1934, including their name, crime and subsequent sentencing. Imaging 100% | Data Capture 95% | Publishing 0% | Est. completion date 2015.
Project: Ward Registers
Records from 257 registers of wards of the state up to 1895 will be digitised for online availability. The records hold information on how individuals came to be under guardianship. Imaging 100% | Data Capture 100% | Publishing 100% | Project completed Oct 2014!
Project: Historic Plan Collection
This project will digitise over 11,500 plans in 48 distinct collections, including pastoral runs, explorer routes, roads and river systems. Arguably the most valuable collection of plans in Australia. Indexing 100% | Imaging 24% | Publishing 20% | Est. completion date 2018.
Project: Inquest Deposition Files
Inquest records from 1840 to 1937 are being indexed and digitised for online availability. They’re among the most popular collections in the Victorian archives. Indexing 80% | Checking index 70% | Image Capture 80% | Est. completion date 2015.
Project: Bills of Sale
Bills of Sale are financial contracts also known as chattel mortgages. Indexing these records will expose a wellspring of new and vital information about Victorian society in 1880-1900. Processing 15% | Data Capture 15% | Publishing 0% | Est. completion date 2016.
Project: Public Works Department Plans
Over 200,000 plans depict government department offices, schools, hospitals, bridges and more. The project aims to create searchable data to improve researcher access and repackage the records to increase their longevity. Processing 3% | Data Capture 3% | Publishing 0% | Est. completion date 2020.