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PROVguide 10: Ballarat Archives Centre Records

Records Information – Ballarat Archives Centre Records

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.

The Ballarat Archives Centre (BAC) holds a selection of records created by government offices located in the Central Highlands and parts of the Grampians and Wimmera regions of Victoria.  These include local government, court and mining records.  Other records relating to the region along with the bulk of PROV’s holdings are held at the Victorian Archives Centre.

Records held at BAC can be ordered on PROV’s online catalogue: , and in person in the BAC Reading Room.  Please note: records can be ordered for viewing in the Reading Room of the repository at which they are held.  For example, records held at the Victorian Archives Centre cannot be ordered for viewing at the Ballarat Archives Centre.  For information on BAC Reading Room Services and ordering records please consult the following guides:

PROVguide 9 Ballarat Archives Centre Reading Room

PROVguide 19 Registering and Maintaining a Public User Account

PROVguide 20 Searching for Records Online

PROVguide 21 Ordering Records

Below is a select list of some of the most commonly used types of records held at Ballarat.  Further information about these and other records held at BAC can be found on PROV’s online catalogue.

Local Government

Records created by municipalities and shires, held at BAC include rate and valuation records, letter books, minute books, contract registers and inwards and outwards correspondence.  The following are some examples.  These records can be ordered for viewing at BAC via PROV’s online catalogue:

Rate and Valuation Records

VPRS 7243 General Rate and Valuation Books [Ballarat] (1871-1952)

VPRS 7258 General Rate Books [Ballarat East] (1872-1921)

VPRS 3770 Rate Records [Stawell] (1861-1995)

VPRS 5557 Rate Books [Ballan] (1863-1994)

VPRS 13490 Rate Records [Buninyong] (1863-1994)

VPRS 12787Rate and Valuation Records [Daylesford] (1859-1966)


VPRS 12784 Council Minutes Daylesford] (1859-1966)

VPRS 12757 Committee Minutes [Daylesford] (1863-1966)]

VPRS 5558 Minute Books [Ballan] (1862-1994)


VPRS 3910 Letter Books [Smythesdale] (1864-1910)

VPRS 8118 Outward Letter Books [Ballarat] (1867-1987)

VPRS 2500 General Correspondence Files [Ballarat] (1856-1980)

Buildings and Works

VPRS 2503 Specifications, Contracts and Tenders [Ballarat (1858-1979)]

VPRS 15246 Plan Books [Ararat] (1874-1920)


BAC holds a selection of records from the following court jurisdictions; Courts of Petty Sessions, the Supreme Court, the County Court, Courts of Mines, Liquor Licensing Courts and the Children’s Court.  Some examples of records are:

Petty Sessions

VPRS 290 Cause List Books and Petty Sessions Registers [Ballarat East] (1858-1921)

VPRS 296 Petty Sessions Registers [Buninyong] (1856-1970)


VPRS 556 Correspondence Files [Ballarat] (1870-1943)


VPRS 719 Licensing Registers [Ballarat] (1859-1962)

VPRS 1682 Court of Petty Sessions Licensing Registers [Ararat] (1859-1923)

Crown Lands and Survey

BAC holds some records created by the Crown Lands and Survey Offices located in the region.  These include registers of land sales, registers of leases and town and allotment survey plans.  Researchers are advised however that most land records held by PROV are located at the Victorian Archives Centre.  For more information please consult PROVguide 55 Land Records.

The following are some examples of Crown land and Survey records held at BAC:

Land Sales and Leases

VPRS 5792 Register of Land Sales (Creswick District Land Office) (1860-1882)

VPRS 3576 Register of Land Sales (Ballarat District Land Office) (1871-1885)

VPRS 15681 Register of Applications, Ballarat, Section 65 Land Acts 1884, 1890 and 1898 and Section 103 Land Act 1901 and Section 106 Land Act 1901 (Ballarat District Survey Office) (1885-1943)

VPRS 15683 Register of Approved Applications, Ararat, Section 103 Land Act 1901 and Section 86 Land Act 1915 (Ararat District Land Office) (1908-1941)


VPRS 4771 Ballarat and Ballarat East Town Allotment Survey Plans (1858-1938)


Records documenting the administration of mining, held at BAC include registers of residence areas, registers of claims, Courts of Mines records, registers of applications for mining leases, surveyor’s field books, registers of surveys and correspondence.  Some examples are:

VPRS 1649 Mining Registrar’s Register of Claims and Residence Areas, Amherst Mining Division [Maryborough Mining District] (1869-1910)

VPRS 5448 Registers of Residence Areas, Ballarat District, Central Division (1883-1936)

VPRS 479 Gold Mining Leases and Applications [Maryborough] (1860-1920)

Please note that PROV does not hold miners rights and licenses.  Records about mining in the Central Highlands region are also held at the Victorian Archives Centre.

Additional Resources

Computer indexes and microform copies of frequently used records and indexes can be found in the BAC Reading Room.  Amongst these are the Victorian Index to Births, Deaths and Marriages, the Victorian Inquest Index and the Victorian Probate Index.

A range of records and research resources are available on microfilm and microfiche in the BAC Reading Room, and do not have to be ordered for viewing.  These include indexes relating to the Ballarat region.

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