Copying and Publishing Public Records
This PROVguide outlines a range of options for making copies of records held by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV). Most original records held by PROV can be copied except where copying would cause damage. PROV reserves the right to select the most appropriate copy process, and reading room staff can advise the most suitable copying method on a case by case basis. Victorian government visitors are advised to also consult PROVguide 3 Copying Services – Government Access regarding obtaining copies of records for which their agency is responsible.
Making your own copies in a reading room
Researchers can make copies of records free of charge using their own digital camera, provided that conditions of use are observed. There are digital cameras available in the Reading Room for your own use, bring a USB stick wth you. For details see PROVguide 24 Use of Digital Cameras in PROV Reading Rooms.
Hand held scanners/Portable scanners
Hand held or portable scanners are not permitted to be used in the reading room to copy original records unless these devises DO NOT come in contact with the record.
If you are not able to visit a PROV reading room to view records and arrange your copy order, you may wish to hire a search agent to undertake this on your behalf. See PROVguide 15 Research Agents for contact details.
Obtaining permission to publish
Before a public record can be reproduced in a publication or exhibition, the written permission of the copyright holder must be obtained. Refer to PROVguide 25 Copyright For Researchers for information about the process, which includes completion of an Application for Permission to Publish form. See PROVguide 13 How to Cite Public Records for guidelines on citing public records.
Certified copies for legal purposes
Copies of public records produced by PROV can be certified for legal purposes by the Keeper of Public Records. A certification charge of $5.00 per record (in addition to copying and postage) is charged regardless of the number of pages copied. For example, the following copies would cost $5.00 for certification:
- One document in a probate file
- All documents in a probate file
- One page in a volume
- 20 pages in a volume
It is advisable to allow 10 working days for certification which is undertaken subject to the availability of the Keeper of Public Records. To ensure the integrity of certified records, copies of records will only be certified by the Keeper if the copy has been made by PROV and has not left PROV custody.
Placing a copy order
Copy orders, using methods outlined below, can be placed in person at PROV’s reading rooms or online using the Photocopy Order Form. Copy orders placed through PROV contain a written citation identifying the record. See the ‘Certified’ section further on in this PROVguide if you require information about certification of records.
Placing your copy order
Step 1: Order records via PROV’s online catalogue
Step 2: Complete a Photocopy Order Form (also available from the copying desk)
Step 3: Pay for copy order, and postage or certification if required, by 4.30pm for the standard copy service, or by 3pm for the same-day fast-track photocopy service. This can be done either in the reading room or online once the Photocopy Order Form has been completed.
At the Victorian Archives Centre payment can be made by cash, Eftpos (minimum $5), credit card (minimum $10) cheque or money order. PROV cannot accept payment by American Express. Please make cheques and money orders out to Public Record Office Victoria. At the Ballarat Archives Centre payment is by cash only.
Receiving your copy order
Completed photocopy orders placed at the Victorian Archives Centre can be picked up from the copy desk in the Reading room.
If placed at the Ballarat Archives Centre completed copy orders can be picked up from the BAC reading room (9.30 – 4.30, Mondays and Tuesdays, except for public holidays).
If postage has been ordered and paid for copies will be posted to the nominated address.
- The standard photocopying cost is 70 cents per page plus a postage fee if postage required.
- Photocopy orders are completed within 25 working days at the Victorian Archives Centre. Photocopying is undertaken on demand at the Ballarat Archives Centre (9.30am – 4.30pm, Mondays and Tuesdays, except for public holidays). Ballarat staff will advise on a timeframe for copy orders.
Fast track photocopy service
PROV offers a fast-track photocopying service for orders up to 20 pages. In addition to the 70 cents charge per page, the following charges and conditions apply:
- $15.00 fast-track fee per 20 copies or part of 20 copies
- Same-day orders need to be placed by 3:00pm
- Copying will be completed by the end of the day; 4.30pm
- $7.50 fast-track fee per 20 copies or part of 20 copies
- Copying will be completed by 1pm the following day
PROV can make high resolution digital copies of records suitable for publication or exhibition. Before a public record can be reproduced in a publication or exhibition, the written permission of the copyright holder must be obtained. Refer to PROVguide 25 Copyright For Researchers for details
- Map, plan or other oversized single-page documents are $19.25 each
- Per standard sized document – first 20 pages in length is $19.25 and for every 30 pages or part thereof after the first 20 pages is $15.40
- Digitised images can be emailed or provided on a CD (see below for postage charges)
- Digital orders are completed within 25 working days
Requests for digitised images must be completed using the Application for digital images for you to complete and either scan and email, or fax (+613) 9348 5656 to PROV. Copies are provided on cd as .tif files or emailed to you as .jpegs. You can pay with a credit card by emailing us your credit card details, or you can post a cheque with your application.
To help us ensure that we are providing you with the correct image, please send a copy if available, with your order form and payment.
Our postal address is:
Public Record Office Victoria
PO Box 2100
NORTH MELBOURNE VIC 3051
Postage and handling
|Service||Type (or equivalent eg. 5 x A3 or 10 x A4)||Charge|
|Envelopes||Large Letter format: up to 99 A4 pages||$8.95|
|Large Letter format: 100-199 A4 pages||$16.40|
|Large Letter format: 200-400 A4 pages||$21.35|
|Tubes||60mm x 600mm: up to 5 sheets A3||$9.75|
|90mm x 850mm: up to 5 sheets A2||$11.85|
|60mm x 600mm: 6-20 sheets A3||$19.20|
|90mm x 850mm: 6-20 sheets A2||$21.30|
|DX||Up to 799 A4 pages||$2.00|
|DX||800+ A4 pages||$8.65|
|Overseas||Price on application|
|Registered mail an additional||$3.50|