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Pathway 4: Finding Records at PROV

What Types of Records Are Held by Public Record Office Victoria?

How Do I Know Which Government Departments Created Records Relevant to My Research?

Aboriginal Affairs

Arts, Sport and Culture

Defence

Education

Health, Mental Health and Welfare

Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Land, Environment and Primary Industry

Legal, Justice and Consumer Affairs

Local Government and Planning

Parliament, Premier and Governor

Registration and Licensing

Transport and Infrastructure

Useful Links

What Types of Records Are Held by Public Record Office Victoria?

As the State’s archival authority Public Record Office Victoria holds records created by Victorian government departments and authorities, the State’s courts, municipalities, schools, public hospitals and other public offices.  The records date from the establishment of the Port Phillip District in the mid 1830s and include information relating to areas of activity managed or regulated by government such as the administration of justice, health and welfare, education, Indigenous communities, planning, transport, land and immigration.

PROV holds records that are no longer required by Victorian government as part of their day to day business.  Sometimes your research will require you to contact a government department to gain access to the records you are seeking.  This can be because the department looks after access to them, especially where the records contain personal information, such as case files or employee records.

Read PROVguide 66 PROV’s Archival Control Model for more information about how PROV describes and manages its collection.

Browse our PROVguides to find out more about records held by PROV, and resources and services available at PROV for your research.

How Do I Know Which Government Department Created Records Relevant to My Research?

You can explore what part of government may have produced records you are looking for by Searching or Browsing for Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about Government Functions.  A Function is the term given to an area of responsibility or activity of government; for example, Water Supply or Education. 

When you are in a Function Details page in the online catalogue, the entry for the Function will display a list of government departments, known as Agencies, that have carried out this work.

If an Agency is then selected from this list you will be taken to a Details page about that Agency which will provide a list of Series (records) held by PROV that were created by that Agency.  You can also find information on PROV’s online catalogue about Groups, which list related Functions and Agencies.

If you know the name of the government department that created the kinds of records you are looking for, such as the Supreme Court, you may wish to Browse or Search for that particular Agency.

Explore our New Researcher Kit for more information about finding records held by PROV.

If you have determined that PROV does not provide access to the records you are seeking and you need to contact the responsible government department, or a non-government organisation, you may wish to look in PROV’s Further Research Resources research pathway.  In the Further Research Resources pathway you can also find information about current Victorian government functions.

You can use these broader groupings of Victorian government areas of responsibility, listed below, to help navigate to catalogue Details pages and then to records held by PROV.

Aboriginal Affairs

PROVguides

PROVguide 67 Aboriginal Records at PROV

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Aboriginal Affairs:

Aboriginal Affairs

VF 175

Archaeological survey (Aboriginal)

VF 326

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies relating to Aboriginal Affairs:

Ministry for Aboriginal Affairs

1968 – 1975

VA 2873

Board for the Protection of Aborigines   

1869 – 1957 

VA 515

Aboriginal Affairs Victoria

1985 – ct

VA 3101

Central Board Appointed to Watch over the Interests of the Aborigines

1860 -1869

VA 514

Chief Protector of Aborigines

1838 – 1849

VA 512

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody

1987 – 1991

VA 4005

Victoria Archaeological Survey

1972 – 1994

VA 1802

Arts, Sport and Culture

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Arts, Sport and Culture:

Arts

VF 194

Sport and Recreation

VF 202

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies and Groups relating to Arts, Sport and Culture:

Chief Secretary`s Department

ND – 1972

VA 475

Ministry for the Arts

1972 – 1992

VA 1025

Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism

1992 – 1996

VA 3095

Arts Victoria

1992 – ct

VA 4416

Department of the Premier and Cabinet

1996 – ct

VA 1039

Arts

 

VRG 61

Youth Sport and Recreation

 

VRG 66

Defence

Catalogue Details Pages

This link will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Defence:

Defence

VF 63

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies relating to Defence:

Chief Secretaries Department

1855 – 1979

VA 475

Department of Defence

1883 – 1901

VA 2884

Education

PROVguides

PROVguide 56 Education Records

Database Indexes

VPRS 907/P0 Teacher Examination Papers, 1863-1872 

VPRS 13719/P1 Database Index to Teacher Record Books, 1863-1959    

Digitised Records

VPRS 65/P0 Copy of Inward and Outward Correspondence, Board of Education, 1849-1851  

VPRS 5675/P0 Index to Special Case Files, Education Department, 1862-1977

VPRS 5676/P0 Register of Special Case Files, Education Department, 1852-1977

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Education.  

Education

VF 19

School attendance regulation

VF 120

Industrial and apprenticeship training

VF 121

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies and Groups relating to Education.  

Ministry of Employment and Training

1980 – 1985

VA 704

Ministry of Education and Training

1985 – ct

VA 1112

Education Department

1873 – 1985

VA 714

Denominational School Board 

1855 – 1862

VA 703  

Educational Institutions

 

VRG 24

Education

 

VRG 35

Health, Mental Health and Welfare

PROVguides

PROVguide 59 Mental Health Records

PROVguide 60 Adoption, Wardship and Related Records

Database Indexes

VPRS 7882/P1 Public Building Files, 1874 – 1988

Digitised Records

VPRS 7446/P1 Alphabetical Lists of Patients in Asylums, 1849-1885

VPRS 7427/P1 Nominal Register of Patients, Ararat Asylum, 1867-1906

VPRS 7426/P1 Nominal Register of Patients, Ballarat Asylum, 1893-1907

VPRS 7428/P1 Nominal Register of Patients, Ballarat/Sunbury Asylums, 1877-1907

VPRS 8236/P1 Register of Patients, Ballarat/Sunbury Asylums, 1877-1920

VPRS 7395/P1 Case Books of Male Patients, Beechworth Asylum, 1867-1912

VPRS 7396/P1 Case Books of Female Patients, Beechworth Asylum, 1878-1912

VPRS 7493/P1 Register of Patients, Bendigo Receiving Ward, 1874-1908

VPRS 7721/P1 Register of Patients, Collingwood Asylum, 1866-1873

VPRS 7425/P1 Nominal Register of Patients, Kew Asylum, 1871-1906

VPRS 7690/P1 Nominal Register of Patients, Kew Asylum, 1871-1914

VPRS 7680/P1 Register of Patients, Kew Asylum, 1871-1919

VPRS 7423/P1 Nominal Register of Patients, Royal Park Hospital for the Insane, 1907-1913

VPRS 7490/P1 Asylum Records [Case Books], Sunnyside Licensed House, 1905-1915

VPRS 7422/P1 Index to Male and Female Case Books, Yarra Bend Asylum, 1848-1912

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Health, Mental Health and Welfare:

Health and welfare agencies

VF 439

Mental Health

VF 128

Public Health

VF 125

Public Health, Aborigines

VF 389

Public Health, Infant and Maternal

VF 248

Intellectual Disability Services

VF 249

Physical and Sensory Disability Services

VF 250

Welfare Services

VF 252

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Groups relating to Health and Mental Health:

Health

VRG 39

Health and Welfare Agencies

VRG 8

Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

PROVguides

PROVguide 52 Immigration Records

PROVguide 53 British Post World War II Immigration Records

PROVguide 54 Ships and Shipping Movements

Database Indexes

Unassisted Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria 1852-1923

Assisted British Immigration 1839-1871

Outward Passengers to Interstate, U.K. and Foreign Ports, 1852-1856

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Immigration and Multicultural Affairs:

Immigration (monitoring arrivals)

VF 99

Immigration (19th century)

VF 8

Immigration (20th century)

VF 138

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies relating to Immigration and Multicultural Affairs:

Department of Trade and Customs

1851 – 1901

VA 704

Ministry of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

1977 – 1991

VA 1042

Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, State Office, Victoria

1996 – ct

VA 4369

Land, Environment and Primary Industry

PROVguides

PROVguide 55 Land Records

Database Indexes

VPRS 7/P0 Treasurer’s Correspondence Relating to Pastoral Runs, 1838 -1855

VPRS 8851/P1 Database of Records in VPRS 8850 of the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens and Related Organisations, 1857-1991

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Land, Environment and Primary Industry:

Crown Lands (Public)

VF 309

Agriculture

VF 245

Environment Protection

VF 328

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies and Groups relating to Land, Environment and Primary Industry:

Lands

 

VRG 18

Chief Secretary`s Department

ND – 1872

VA 475

Department of Agriculture

1872 – 1985

VA 618

Department of Crown Lands and Survey

1857 – 1983

VA 538

Legal, Justice and Consumer Affairs

PROVguides

PROVguide 57 Convict Records

PROVguide 61 Divorce Records

PROVguide 58 Prison Records

PROVguide 70 Wills and Probate Records

PROVguide 71 Inquest Records

PROVguide 68 Ordering Wills and Probate Records

PROVguide 8 Ordering Inquest Records

Database Indexes

VPRS 815/P0 Court of Insolvency Records, Geelong, 1853-1928

VPRS 75/P0 Certificate of Discharge, Court of Insolvency, Melbourne, 1848-1875

Digitised Records

VPRS 110/P0 Register of Convicts, c1838-1852  

VPRS 108/P0 Register, Police Magistrate, Portland, 1840-1853

VPRS 5335/P0 Index to Divorce Cause Books, 1861-1924

VPRS 10867/P0 Alphabetical Index to Central Register of Male Prisoners, 1868-1947

VPRS 10879/P0 Alphabetical Index to Central Register of Female Prisoners, 1857-1948

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Legal, Justice and Consumer Affairs:

Civil and Criminal Justice

VF 428

Consumer Affairs Consultation

VF 350

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies and Groups relating to Legal, Justice and Consumer Affairs:

Courts

 

VRG 4

Department of Justice

1992 – ct

VA 3085

Attorney-General’s Department

1851 – 1992

VA 2825

Local Government and Planning

PROVguides

PROVguide 64 City of Melbourne

Digitised Records

VPRS 8904/P1 Subject Index to Town Clerks Correspondence Files, City of Melbourne, 1913-1983   

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Local Government and Planning:

Local Government

VF 184

Planning (to 1988)

VF 329

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies  and Groups relating to Local Government and Planning:

Municipalities

 

VRG 12

Town and Country Planning Board

1946 – 1981

VA 516

Planning and Local Government

 

VRG 126

Parliament, Premier and Governor

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Parliament, Premier and Governor:

Parliament

VF 400

Executive

VF 366

Head of Government

VF 64

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies relating to Parliament, Premier and Governor:

Legislative Council

1851 – ct

VA 471

Legislative Assembly

1856 – ct

VA 2585

Colonial Secretary’s Department

1851 – 1855

VA 856

Chief Secretary’s Department

1855 – 1979

VA 475

Governor

1851 – ct

VA 466

Department of the Premier

1936 – 1982

VA 2717

Department of the Premier and Cabinet

1982 – ct

VA 1039

Registration and Licensing

Database Indexes

VPRS 7/P0 Treasurer’s Correspondence Relating to Publicans, 1838 -1855

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Registration and Licensing:

Registration Services

VF 469

Liquor Licensing

VF 94

This link will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies relating to Registration and Licensing:

Office of the Registrar-General and the Office of Titles

1873 – ct

VA 862

Transport and Infrastructure

PROVguides

PROVguide 62 Public Transport – Railways

PROVguide 63 Public Transport – Tramways

Database Index

VPRS 12800/P1 Photographic Collection Alpha-Numeric Railway Negative Systems

Catalogue Details Pages

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Functions relating to Transport and Infrastructure:

Public Transport

VF 403

Public Works

VF 404

These links will take you to Details pages in PROV’s online catalogue about selected Victorian Government Agencies and Groups relating to Transport and Infrastructure:

Public Works

1855 – 1987

VRG 28

Transport

1856 – ct

VRG 49

Railways

1851 – 1855

VRG 32

Department of Infrastructure

1855 – 1979

VA 3971

Department of Transport

1851 – ct

VA 673

Useful Links

Victoria Online

http://www.vic.gov.au/index.jsp

Freedom of Information

http://www.foi.vic.gov.au/

National Archives of Australia

http://www.naa.gov.au/

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