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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

Case studies in government recordkeeping

istock_000081174867_smallAre you interested to learn how Agriculture Victoria adopted an information management tool that allows a single point of contact to access all digital and physical records?

Or maybe you’re keen to hear how the City of Casey embarked on an ambitious journey to transform information management across the organisation and move to paper independence? 

View our latest case studies for government recordkeepers:


The case studies highlight the challenges, processes, technologies and achievements encountered when undertaking recordkeeping and information management projects and transfers within Victorian Government Agencies. Small and large scale projects are featured as well as Sir Rupert Hamer Award recipient agencies.

Visit our full suite of case studies here.


PLEASE NOTE: Upcoming Dec/Jan closures

12903-p00001-000630-070Researchers please be aware of upcoming closures in the lead up to Christmas and New Year. 

Victorian Archives Centre

  • The Reading Room will close at 12pm Friday 9 December 2016 and re-open Monday 12 December. 
  • The Reading Room will close for Christmas and New Year from 12pm Friday 23 December 2016 until 10am Tuesday 3 January. 
  • Cafe 99 will be closed on Friday 16 December and re-open Monday 19 December.
  • Cafe 99 will close at 3pm on Tuesday 20 December for Christmas and New Year holidays, and re-open at 8am Tuesday 17 January. 

Ballarat Archives Centre (BAC)

  • BAC will close for Christmas and New Year from 4.30pm Tuesday 20 December 2016 and re-open Tuesday 3 January 2017.

Bendigo Regional Archives Centre (BRAC)

  • BRAC will be closed on 7 December for staff training. 
  • BRAC will close for Christmas and New Year from 4.30pm Thursday 22 December until 10am Wednesday 11 January. 

Geelong Library & Heritage Centre

  • The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre will be closed on the 25th, 26th and 27th of December and 1st, 2nd and 26th of January. 

Happy holidays from all of us here at PROV!

Expiring RDAs Review Project

Shredded paper

In recent years, PROV has introduced disposal remodelling processes to better assist agencies in meeting their recordkeeping requirements. Measures have included:

  • the simplification of the Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA) development process
  • ensuring RDAs have wider application and inbuilt longevity.

PROV has also recently undertaken a macro appraisal approach to identify significant functions of government and address questions of risk.

While undertaking this work, a number of existing RDAs were extended to allow PROV staff to focus on the broader remodelling program.

About the project

PROV will develop a strategy to manage function specific RDAs due to expire in late 2016 and early 2017.

PROV will contact agencies with expiring RDAs directly with information about how their expiring RDA(s) will need to be managed.

What agencies need to do

Agencies should wait for correspondence from PROV about their expiring RDA(s).

Agencies will be notified:

  • if a thorough review of records retention and disposal requirements is required for their expiring RDA(s)
  • if the agency will need to allocate resources to work with PROV on developing a longer term RDA solution.

PROV staff look forward to working with these agencies to establish the most efficient and effective approach.


Report on IM maturity: Measuring, understanding and improving information management maturity in Victorian Government


In December 2015, the Victorian Auditor-General’s report Access to Public Sector Information endorsed PROV’s Information Management Maturity Measurement tool (IM3). It recommended that agencies assess and address their Information Management (IM) maturity using the IM3.

On the back of this endorsement, the Information Management Maturity Assessment Program (IMMAP) was launched by PROV in January 2016. The Program requested that Victorian Government departments and four key agencies self-assess their IM maturity using the IM3 tool and send their results to PROV.

The IMMAP was designed to provide:

  • A mechanism for identifying and initiating IM enhancement opportunities both within and across departments and agencies.
  • An evidence basis to inform the strategic direction and priorities for IM decision makers across Victorian Government.

PROV collated and analysed the results in July 2016, identifying a number of strengths and weaknesses in IM maturity across these departments and agencies.


Most departments and agencies reported that they have established good governance and have developed a solid IM vision and strategy.


The weakest area across all departments and agencies is internal IM audit and compliance – indicating most departments and agencies are currently failing to monitor their compliance against IM standards, legislation and requirements. Other underperforming areas include:

  • information literacy and responsibility
  • accessibility and discoverability
  • information use and reuse.


PROV has prepared a number of recommendations to address the lowest maturity level ratings and identify enhancement opportunities. Key recommendations include:

  • Enterprise Solutions at DPC and PROV explore development of a formal online training IM program for all Victorian Public Sector staff.
  • IMMAP participants work towards implementing internal Audit and Compliance programs to increase their maturity rating levels by 2018.
  • PROV will work with DPC and consult with the IMG to improve and enhance the IM3 tool and its supporting documentation to expand its coverage and address organisation complexity and emerging IM issues, technologies and standards.

To continue to understand, measure and improve IM maturity in Victorian Government, PROV will collate, analyse and report on IM results again during 2018 and biennially thereafter.

More information about the IMMAP participants, findings and recommendations can be found in the Information Management Maturity Current State Assessment Report 2015-2016 available on our IMMAP web page.

Celebrating 60 Years since the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

On the 22nd of November 1956, Melbourne began its two week run as host city of the Olympic Games. It was the first time the Games were held in the Southern Hemisphere and the first in which all athletes walked the closing ceremony together. 

Public Record Office Victoria holds many fantastic records from the 1956 Games including original plans, the City of Melbourne submission to hold the Games, and photographs. 

Black and white photo of a model of a grandstand

A photograph of the model made of the ‘new grandstand’ to be built for the Games, VPRS 15162 P1 Unit 1


Coloured artist drawing of a stadium.

Proposed Stadium in the City of Melbourne Submission to hold the Games, VPRS 15162 P1 Unit 1.


A photo of the frontpage of the 1956 program which includes picture of flame and australia.

1956 Olympics Program, Lord Mayors Correspondence Files, VPRS 9456 P1 Unit 1.


Photo of women athletes with toy kangaroo

Belgian girls with kangaroo at the Opening Ceremony, VPRS 10742 P0 A76.


Photo of Betty Cuthbert winning a race.,

Betty Cuthbert comes 1st in the semi final 200 metres, VPRs 10742 P0 B1270.


Photo of a line of athletes holding flags.

Closing Ceremony, VPRS 10742 P0 C2616.

View more from our photographic collection here. 

Also among our collection we found fantastic black and white sketches of athlete housing and stadiums – perfect for colouring in. Download our 1956 Olympics colouring book, print it off and colour your Christmas stress away! 


Request for Feedback – RDA for Records of Emergency Services Sector Function

istock_000019659642_largeThe PROV Appraisal and Documentation Team invites stakeholders to review a new draft Retention and Disposal Authority for records of the Emergency Services Sector Function.

The aim of the RDA, once issued as a Standard, is to specify records required as State Archives and to provide for the lawful disposal of records not required permanently after specified periods.

This RDA will apply to emergency service sector agencies, primarily the first response agencies and to agencies responsible for the provision of relief and recovery services to communities and individuals impacted by emergencies and disasters.

The draft RDA is available below, along with a brief report outlining the background, scope and appraisal recommendations.

In addition, a full appraisal report is available upon request.

We would appreciate feedback on the following:

  • Are the retention periods reasonable?
  • Is the language used in the RDA clear enough?
  • Can you identify any gaps in the RDA coverage?

Please provide any feedback to by COB Friday 2nd December 2016.


Finish Writing Your Book with Hazel Edwards

A photo of Hazel Edwards standing at the lecturn ready to speakIn conjunction with Public Record Office Victoria, Hazel Edwards is offering a year long non-fiction Master Class with the aim of participants completing their books by December 2017.

Due to the ongoing popularity of Hazel’s ‘Writing a Non Boring Family History’ workshops and talks at the Victorian Archives Centre, there have been requests for longer mentoring. With over 200 books published and a teaching career spanning 40 years, Hazel has advice to share with writers wanting to see their book published.

This year-long master class will appeal to procrastinators and those involved with a non-fiction book length project who wish to finish their manuscripts within the year. 

Subjects can include memoir, autobiography, ‘How To’ books and family histories. A copy of Hazel’s latest book, ‘Not Just A Piece of Cake: Being An Author’ will be given to each master class participant. Past participants include many published authors in multiple genres. Current students may start with a partly completed project. Participants will be required to present a draft chapter each session.

The 2017 Hazelnuts Master Class will be:

  • Limited to 24 participants.
  • Include 3-hour monthly sessions on the first Friday of each month throughout 2017, 10am to 1pm on the following dates:
    6th January,
    3rd of February,
    3rd of March,
    7th of April,
    5th of May,
    2nd of June,
    7th of July,
    4th of August,
    1st of September,
    6th of October,
    3rd of November,
    1st of December.
  • Hazel invoiced fee to be paid in full at first class. $600 plus GST ($660) for the year i.e. $50 (plus GST) per monthly 12 X 3 hour session per individual.

No refunds if student drops out.

Topics to be covered:

  1. Pitching proposal
  2. Synopsis
  3. Title importance & Non Boring elements
  4. Possible structures and narration perspectives
  5. Anecdultery & Story Shaping
  6. Formats (story telling formats)
  7. Themes
  8. Research skills including interviewing
  9. Value of work-shopping chapters
  10. Editing
  11. Query letters
  12. Publishing processes and options

Check for other resources.

To register for this course please contact Tara Oldfield, preferably via email: alternatively on 9348 5704. 
Once we have reached 24 attendees we will update this webpage as “booked out” so get in quick! 

Local history projects honoured at the 2016 Victorian Community History Awards

19-these-walls-speak-volumesA book about the history of Mechanics’ Institutes of Victoria has been awarded top prize at this years’ Victorian Community History Awards at a ceremony held at the Arts Centre today.

Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria have historically been meeting places for adult education, entertainment and the arts. The book These Walls Speak Volumes: A History of Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria by Pam Baragwanath and Ken James, provides an insight into their pioneering role as one of Victoria’s earliest community organisations.

Magda Szubanski was awarded the Judges’ Special Prize for her autobiography Reckoning, delving into her father’s dark past, while Anne Doyle’s book about the Somali community of West Heidelberg, Wadaddi Nabadda. Paths to Peace, won the inaugural Cultural Diversity Award.  

Other winning entries included a book about activism during 1970s Melbourne, the story of Hector Crawford and documentaries about Malvern’s gifted Jewish sculptor Karl Duldig. 

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings congratulated the winners on their contribution to Victorian history.

“These fantastic award winning projects document our history and the development of Victoria as we know it today.”

“I want to congratulate every winner on their contribution to detailing the many stories and perspectives of Victoria’s rich history,” Minister Jennings said.

Justine Heazlewood, Public Record Office Victoria Director and Keeper of Public Records acknowledged the great range of entries seen this year.

“From books about citizens and institutions, to documentaries, websites and valuable online databases – these projects provide the entire community with rich and diverse resources for learning about the history of Victoria.”

The Victorian Community History Awards are presented by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and funded by the Victorian Government.

A major event of History Week, the annual Victorian Community History Awards recognise the work of individuals and organisations committed to telling stories of local history.

Victorian Community History Awards 2016 full list of winners:

Victorian Community History Award
These Walls Speak Volumes: A History of Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria by Pam Baragwanath and Ken James
Published by the authors

Judges’ Special Prize
Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski
Text Publishing

Collaborative Community Award
Breaking Out: Memories of Melbourne in the 1970s edited by Susan Blackburn
Hale & Iremonger

Local History Project Award
‘We Are All of One Blood’. A History of the Djabwurrung Aboriginal People of Western Victoria, 1836-1901 by Ian D. Clark

History Publication Award
Hector: The Story of Hector Crawford and Crawford Productions by Rozzi Bazzani

Local History Small Publication Award
The Village of Ripponlea by Judith Buckrich
Lauranton Books

Cultural Diversity Award
Wadaddi Nabadda. Paths to Peace. Voices of the Somali Speaking Community by Anne Doyle
Olympic Adult Education

Multimedia Award
We Remember: Honouring the Service & Sacrifice of Local Veterans and the Wangaratta Community During WW1, DVD and Website
Rural City of Wangaratta

Historical Interpretation Award
Duldig Studio Documentaries by Eva de Jong-Duldig and Dr David Smith
Duldig Studio

Centenary of WW1 Award
Home Front Ballarat WW1 Website:
Ballarat & District Genealogical Society

History Article (Peer Reviewed) Award
Beyond Failure and Success: The Soldier Settlement on Ercildoune Road by James Kirby
Provenance Journal

Download the winners-booklet to learn more about each winner and view the list of commendations.

View photos from the event on Flickr. 

For more information about the Victorian Community History Awards visit

New Standard Setting and Organisational Performance Monitoring Functions RDA

Shredded paperA new Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA) is now available, PROS 16/06 RDA for Records of the Standard Setting and Organisational Performance Monitoring Functions

Agencies are encouraged to consider this new RDA for use as it may partially or fully eliminate the need for your agency to develop an agency or function specific RDA, reducing cost and effort.

The new RDA was developed to meet an objective of the PROV Disposal Remodelling Program which is to issue disposal authorities that can be used in multiple settings whenever possible. This RDA was commissioned by the Victorian Public Sector Commission to authorise disposal of its records. However the content has been phrased to remove agency and/or function limits so that its scope can be extended over time to include other agencies that develop standards/codes and monitor performance against the codes, a very common activity of government.

Your agency can apply to PROV for inclusion within the scope of PROS 16/06 by demonstrating its validity to your agency environment. Once your agency is included formally in scope, PROS 16/06 can be used to authorise disposal of your records.

PROS 16/06 is to be used in conjunction with PROS 07/01 Common Administrative Functions RDA and your agency/function specific RDA (if applicable).

Please contact us if you require further information about this RDA.

Unboxing the rules of storing public records with commercial providers

Classic blue file cabinet isolated on white backgroundWhere public records are no longer being actively used and managed, Victorian Government agencies may decide to store them in a commercial storage facility.

Agencies can only store records with commercial storage providers which qualify as an Approved Public Record Office Storage Supplier (APROSS). The APROSS programme is managed by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) to ensure that public records are maintained and continue to be retrievable in appropriate storage conditions.


What records can be stored in an APROSS facility?

Agencies often ask which records can be transferred to an APROSS. Agencies can transfer records which have been sentenced as temporary records at any time. However, it is important to note, prior approval must be obtained from Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) for transferring:

  • Records awaiting sentencing.
  • State Archives (permanent value records).

Agencies can transfer unsentenced records if they have a plan in place to sentence them, approved by the Keeper of Public Records. PRO 41 Request for Approval of Sentencing Plan, must be submitted to request approval.


Records identified in a current disposal authority as being permanent may only be sent to an APROSS if a plan to transfer the records to PROV has been approved by the Keeper of Public Records. PROV form PRO 42 Request for Approval of Transfer Plan should be completed by the agency and submitted to PROV for approval. The records must only be transferred to the APROSS once approval has been granted.


Agencies are responsible for records in APROSS storage and must take measures to document and track which records are transferred to which location and when. Every agency must therefore document which records are being stored in each box and record where each box is currently located. For more information, please see PROS 11/01 G1 Approved Public Record Office Storage Suppliers (APROSS) Guideline.

Current approved APROSS facilities

The commercial storage suppliers listed on the PROV website have been approved by PROV for the storage of sentenced temporary records, unsentenced records (subject to approval of sentencing plan by PROV), and permanent records (subject to plan of transfer approval by PROV). To join the APROSS programme, commercial storage providers must have their facilities assessed against PROS 11/01 S3 APROSS Specification. APROSS facilities also undergo regular inspections by PROV and submit an annual attestation.

See PROS 11/01 G1 Approved Public Record Office Storage Suppliers (APROSS) Guideline for information about selecting a supplier and what an APROSS storage agreement should cover.

  • Carly Godden, PROV Legislation and Policy Officer
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