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Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
(excl. public holidays)
The second and last Saturday of every month

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Koorie Index of Names

Public Record Office Victoria created the Koorie Index of Names (KIN) project in response to recommendation 2 of the wilam naling report, which required us to ‘undertake an indexing project of all relevant Victorian records in its custody to produce an Indigenous name index.’

The project aims to improve access to records containing information about Aboriginal people held by PROV, which will not only assist Aboriginal people to find information about themselves, but also about their families and their country.

What information does KIN contain?

• Names of Aboriginal people;
• Names of non-Aboriginal people related to or associated with Aboriginal people;
• Names of missions and institutions where Aboriginal people were placed;
• Places where Aboriginal people have lived or visited.

The index itself does not contain personal information about the people named. To see this information researchers will need to order the records concerned for viewing in Public Record Office Victoria’s reading room at the Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne.

What records are being indexed?

The KIN project is indexing records across Public Record Office Victoria’s collection that have specific relevance to Victorian Aboriginal people. Records identified as having a high degree of relevance to Victorian Aboriginal people will be indexed as part of the KIN project. Other records containing information about Aboriginal people will be reviewed and indexed on a case by case basis.

The KIN database currently contains more than 13,800 names indexed from the main correspondence series of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines:

VPRS 1694 Correspondence Files, 1889 – 1946 [Board for the Protection of Aborigines].
See also: National Archives of Australia series B313 for other files in this series.

Public Record Office Victoria volunteers are currently indexing some of the earliest record series relating to Aboriginal people in our collection:

VPRS 10 Inward Registered Correspondence to the Superintendent of Port Phillip District, relating to Aboriginal Affairs, 1839–1851.
Note: this series has been digitised and is available online.

VPRS 11 Inward Unregistered Correspondence to the Chief Protector of Aborigines – Reports and Returns, 1847–1851.
Note: this series has been digitised and is available online.

Other records that have been identified as being of high relevance in PROV’s collection are:

VPRS 10768 Register and Index of Inward Correspondence, 1909 – 1939 [Board for the Protection of Aborigines].
See also: National Archives of Australia series B328 for an earlier register.

VPRS 926 Letter Book Coranderrk, 1898-1924 [Board for the Protection of Aborigines].

VPRS 90 Daybook of the Native Police Corps, Narre Warren, 1845–1853.
Note: available on microfilm at the Victorian Archives Centre Reading Room.

The records in PROV’s collection were created by government agencies managing Aboriginal people residing on Victorian Aboriginal mission stations between 1839 and 1946. They contain a wide range of information about Aboriginal people, and include medical and education reports, correspondence, employment details, meeting minutes, annual reports, police reports, the issue of provisions, clothing and rations, and records of the movement of Aboriginal people across Victoria.

Information needed from researchers

You may not know many details about the person you are researching, but the more background information you have, the easier it will be for you to determine if there are relevant references to the person or family you are seeking.

The following kinds of details can assist you to locate people on the KIN database:
• Name of the person you are researching – including any variations in the spelling of given names, nicknames, or Aboriginal traditional names
• Family connections – the name of any parents, brothers, sisters or other relatives
• Language group, country or homeland – sometimes used to identify people
• Places – where the person was born, lived, worked, or was sent to
• Significant dates or ages – date of birth, age at events, or date of death of the person
• Time periods – the year or period the person was in a certain place or area, such as the period they lived on an Aboriginal station
• Significant events that may have occurred in the person’s life, such as being evacuated due to Aboriginal mission closures or enlistment for war service

Download a family history chart (PDF) to help you put together your search request and then mail it or send it to us as an email attachment.

For further information please refer to PROVguide 67 Koorie Heritage – Koorie Index of Names Project.

Accessing the KIN database

The KIN database is available at the Victorian Archives Centre Reading Room, 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne. The Reading Room is open from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) and on the second and last Saturday of every month. No appointment is necessary to access the KIN database.

Alternatively the KRU can provide advice and assistance to researchers wishing to access the KIN database. Phone: 03 9348 5735 or tollfree 1800 657 452, Monday to Friday except public holidays.


Cultural sensitivity warning

  • Researchers are warned that files accessed through this index may contain distressing or offensive information and images of deceased people. The files were created by government officials and other individuals and may contain words, descriptions and information that may be culturally insensitive or inappropriate. Researchers should also note that the KIN database and Public Record Office Victoria's collection does not contain information about all Aboriginal people who have lived in Victoria.
  • Download a family history chart (PDF) to help you put together your search request and then mail it or send it to us as an email attachment
  • Further information Koorie Records Unit