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Victorian Archives Centre public opening hours

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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PROV’s Reading Room and Reference Services

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) was established in 1973 as Victoria’s archival authority. It is responsible for the preservation of public records that are considered worthy of permanent retention as evidence of government policy and activity.  Public records are created by government departments and authorities, the State’s courts, municipalities, schools, public hospitals and other public offices.  They have value for historical, genealogical or other research, and document the status, rights and entitlements of the people of Victoria.

See also PROVguide 22 PROV Records Access Service Charter.


Only a fraction of the records created have been transferred to Public Record Office Victoria.  The records date from the earliest days of the public administration of the Port Phillip District in the mid 1830s. To search by topic try reading the guides attached to this page and each thumbnail image.

PROV’s online catalogue

PROV’s online catalogue is available through the Access the Collection pages of the PROV website, available at  You can use these pages to:

  • Register a user account
  • Search for details about records in the collection
  • Order records for viewing in PROV’s reading rooms (8 per order, 24 out at any one time)
  • Place an alert on records that are not available for ordering
  • View electronic and digitised records
  • View records you have accessed previously
  • Explore PROVguides, Research Pathways and online Help for assistance with your research
  • Print copies of your search results for future reference
  • Print copies of your order for future reference

PROV’s Reference Services

PROV does not provide a research service but we can offer guidance

Please note that PROV staff are unable to undertake research on your behalf.  We can however, refer you to professional search agents who charge a fee for their services or guide you on available support for your area of interest.  See the PROVwiki for further information including Frequently Asked Questions and HOWTOguides.

For assistance with using PROV’s online catalogue you can contact us:

Reading rooms

Reference service

A reference service is provided to the public through reading rooms at the Ballarat Archives Centre (BAC) and the Victorian Archives Centre (VAC).  Reading room staff can assist with the identification and retrieval of records.  Individuals wishing to undertake research with original records are advised to visit the reading rooms as research cannot be provided in response to telephone calls, emails or letters.

Copy service

A photocopy service is provided in PROV reading rooms for a fee.  Requests must be made in person, and finalised and paid for by 4.30pm.  Alternative copy methods are available for large format and fragile material that can not be photocopied.  Records on microfilm and microfiche can be saved to USB flash drive.  See PROVguide 2 Copying Services and PROVguide 3 Copying Services – Government Access for further information.

Digital cameras

Researchers can make photographic copies of records they have ordered using the PROV digital camera located in the reading room at the Victorian Archives Centre by bringing in their own USB flash drive or by purchasing one from PROV.  Alternatively, researchers can use their own digital camera provided that certain conditions of use are observed when using either method.  These conditions include restrictions on photographing records that are not under crown copyright.  See PROVguide 24 Use of Digital Cameras in PROV Reading Rooms for details.

Ballarat Archives Centre

Opening hours

9.30am to 4.30pm Monday and Tuesday (except for public holidays).


Level One, State Public Offices

Cnr Doveton and Mair Streets

Ballarat 3350

Phone (03) 5333 6506

Access to records

Original records of the Central Highlands and parts of the Grampians and Wimmera regions of Victoria, together with microform copies of frequently used genealogical records can be consulted in the Ballarat reading room.  See PROVguide 9 Ballarat Archives Centre for more information.

Victorian Archives Centre

Opening hours

10.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (except for public holidays)


99 Shiel Street

North Melbourne 3051

The Victorian Archives Centre is a joint research facility operated by Public Record Office Victoria and National Archives of Australia. At the Centre you can conduct your research using records held by both Public Record Office Victoria and National Archives of Australia.

Public Record Office Victoria and the National Archives share the reading room but remain separate entities, governed by their own legislation and regulations, with differences in certain procedures and fees.


Cafe 99 is onsite and is open from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.  There are shops in nearby Melrose Street.

Access to records

Records are stored onsite at the Victorian Archives Centre (VAC).  The reading room holds a reference collection of microform copies of records frequently used by family historians.

Ordering of physical records is carried out online, and can be done in one of PROV’s reading rooms or wherever you use the internet.

Records are delivered to the VAC reading room Monday through to Friday at the following times:  10.30am and 2.30pm.

To receive records at these collection times, records must be ordered before:

  • 8.00am to make the 10.30am collection time
  • 11.30am to make the 2.30pm collection time

Please note: Records in cold storage require an additional 24 hours to be delivered.

You can order up to 8 items per delivery for each researcher and 24 out at any one time.  Records are held in the reading room for 10 working days before being returned to the repository.

Ordering records

Ordering of physical records is carried out online, and can be done in one of PROV’s reading rooms or wherever you use the internet.  For information about registering a user account, searching online and ordering records online please refer to these PROVguides:

PROVguide 19 Registering and Maintaining a Public User Account

PROVguide 12 Registering and Maintaining a Government User Account

PROVguide 20 Searching for Records Online

PROVguide 21 Ordering Records

To order records you need a:

  • User ID
  • Password (if you have forgotten your userID or password and need it reset, contact PROV on Password Reset Form

And for each record item you want:

  • Series ID and consignment (eg. VPRS 24/P0, VPRS 7591/P2 etc)
  • Unit ID (usually a box or volume number)
  • Item (file) reference (Please note; not all records can be ordered at Item level.  In such cases, PROV will issue records at Unit (box) level)

If you do not have internet access or if you have a disability that prevents you from using the internet you can fax or post your order:

By Fax:      (03) 9348 5656

By Post:     Public Record Office Victoria

Reference Services

PO Box 2100

North Melbourne VIC 3051

Please include the words RECORD ORDER prominently in your fax or letter and allow three to five days for PROV to receive, process and retrieve your order.

Please note: Records in cold storage require an additional 24 hours to be delivered.

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