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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

We will be closing the Reading Room at 1pm on Fri 19 Dec

latest news

VERS Renewal Draft now released for comments

We have shrunk the revised VERS Standard and Specifications to be less than 40 pages, and we are now asking for comments on the draft.

The focus of the revision is to:

  • Make the Standard simpler (and hence easier to understand and cheaper and easier to construct VERS objects)
  • Making the Standard more suitable for storing long term information within agencies
  • While retaining the long term preservation principles of the original VERS Standard

The draft can be found at

We are specifically interested in comments about

  • The detail of the proposed and Standard and associated Specifications
  • Any places where the text is unclear or could be better expressed
  • Any implementation issues that could occur

Please send all comments or questions to This consultation phase will conclude on 31 May 2014.

New Records Transfers

New PROV logo BLACKThe below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 4204 Court of General Sessions, Melbourne [1852-1968]
VPRS 17020/P2 Criminal Presentments and Final Orders, Melbourne [1937-1938]

VA 3752 Thiess Enviro Services
VPRS 17413 / P2 Water Course Level Height Measurement Files
VPRS 17413 / P3 Water Course Level Height Measurement Files
VPRS 17414 / P1 Water Course Discharge Measurement Notes  
VPRS 17414 / P2 Water Course Discharge Measurement Notes

The Town That Was – Yallourn

Establishment of a Township at Yallourn

Plans for an S.E.C Garden City

Records of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria

VPRS 8916/P1 - Unit 267 (1921) - Detail taken from Report – Establishment of a Township at Yallourn

VPRS 8916/P1 – Unit 267 (1921) – Detail taken from Report – Establishment of a Township at Yallourn


VPRS 1585 P3 Unit 3 - Early photo of Yallourn (date unknown)

VPRS 1585 P3 Unit 3 – Early photo of Yallourn (date unknown)


Today, located near the Morwell River in the LaTrobe Valley is Australia’s largest open cut coal mine. However this site was once inhabited by a thriving self-contained community called Yallourn. Between the early 1920s and 1950s the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (S.E.C) built the town of Yallourn to house employees at the nearby Power Station complex. Establishment of a Township at Yallourn, located in VPRS 8916 Subject Files, gives a sense of the early planning that went into its construction.

The design of the town was influenced by the Garden City movement coming out of the UK at that time. A method of urban planning, this movement saw value in self contained communities that had an equal balance of industry, green areas and agriculture. Much of what is specified in the report reflects this, for instance it stipulates that each house should have room to grow vegetables.  

Up until 1947, the S.E.C was the sole administrator of the town. This means that in addition to providing housing for their workers, they managed the majority of all other buildings. In addition to housing there were significant green areas, sporting facilities, schools, a hospital and a theatre.

While the town may not have developed in the idyllic manner that the early plan envisioned, a sense of community grew. This was until further coal resources were discovered to be lying beneath the town. By the early 1980s the town had been closed and removed from the site.

At the Public Record Office of Victoria we hold a significant collection of records created by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (S.E.C) including many relating to the township of Yallourn. These date from the company’s inception in 1919 up until it was disbanded and its responsibilities dispersed in 1994. Prior to this the S.E.C maintained its own archive and library providing access to the records. 


Yallourn Technical School, VPRS 15785/P3 – Unit 5 (date unknown)

Yallourn Technical School, VPRS 15785/P3 – Unit 5 (date unknown)

VPRS 15785p3 unit 2 Yallourn Theatre

VPRS 15785 P3 Unit 2 – Statue of John Monash, with Yallourn Theatre in the background 1947


VPRS 8916 Subject Files

VPRS 15785 Photographic Images, Prints…

Creating Agency:

VA 1002 State Electricity Commission of Victoria

Georgia Harris, Access Services Officer

New Record Openings


Newly opened records within our collection for you to now search, order and view within our reading rooms.

VPRS 30/P0 Criminal Trial Briefs VA 2550 – Office of Public Prosecutions (Known as Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-1995) units 2749 – 2808 1938
VPRS 260/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 678 – Ballarat Courts unit 3 1913 – Aug 1914
VPRS 264/P1 Capital Case Files VA 2825 – Attorney-General’s Department (previously known as the Law Department) units 12 & 13 1937 – 1938
VPRS 283/P2 Divorce Case Files, Melbourne VA 2549 – Supreme Court of Victoria units 265 – 283 1938
VPRS 515/P0 Central Register of Male Prisoners VA 1464 – Penal & Gaols Branch unit 91 1937 – 1938
VPRS 521/P0 Register of Names, Particulars and Personal Descriptions of Prisoners Received VA 863 – Pentridge Gaol units 65 – 68 1937 – 1938
VPRS 526/P0 Index to Register of Prisoners Received VA 863 – Pentridge Gaol unit 7 1937 – 1938
VPRS 1792/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 590 – Richmond Courts unit 7 March 1913 – Jan 1914
VPRS 1941/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 4101 – Prahran Courts unit 4 Oct 1912 – Feb 1914
VPRS 2400/P9 General Correspondence Files VA 724 – Victoria Police (including Office of the Chief Commissioner of Police) unit 1 1938
VPRS 2473/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 442 – Oakleigh Courts unit 1 1907 – 1914
VPRS 3524/P0 Criminal Trial Brief Register II VA 2550 – Office of Public Prosecutions (Known as Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-1995) unit 46 1938
VPRS 3524/P1 Criminal Trial Brief Register II VA 2550 – Office of Public Prosecutions (Known as Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-1995) unit 46 1938
VPRS 3581/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 745 – Ballarat East Courts unit 3 Aug 1912 – Jul 1914
VPRS 3848/P0 Master Patient Index Cards VA 901 – Alfred Hospital units 90 – 96 1937 – 1938
VPRS 4527/P0 Ward Registers VA 475 – Chief Secretary’s Department units 105 – 110 Dec 1913 – Nov 1914
VPRS 5334/P1  Divorce Cause Books VA 2549 – Supreme Court of Victoria  unit 7  Dec 1936 – May 1938
VPRS 5335/P4  Index to Divorce Cause Books VA 2549 – Supreme Court of Victoria  unit 2  1933 – 1938
VPRS 6063/P1 Children’s Court Registers VA 2303 – Fitzroy Courts units 6 – 7 June 1913 – Aug 1914
VPRS 7440/P2 Head Attendant’s Daily Report Books – Male Department VA 2840 – Kew Mental Hospital unit 10 July 1937 – 1938
VPRS 7477/P1 Register of Applicants for Permanent Positions VA 2865 – Department of Mental Hygiene unit 3 1920 – 1938
VPRS 7534/P1 Applications for Admissions and Licences for Belmont and Glen Holme and Other Papers VA 2865 – Department of Mental Hygiene unit 1 1910 – 1938
VPRS 7680/P1 Register of Patients VA  2840 – Kew (Asylum 1871-1905; Hospital for the Insane 1905-1934; Mental Hospital 1934-c.1970’s; Mental/Psychiatric Hospital c.1970’s-1988) unit 12 1928 – May 1938
VPRS 7692/P1 Head Nurse’s Daily Report Book – Female Wards VA  2840 – Kew Mental Hospital unit 19 Oct 1937 – Oct 1938
VPRS 7856/P1 Bound Circulated Photographs and Criminal Offences of Convicted Persons VA 2967 – South Australia Police Department units 36 – 37 Nov 1937 – Nov 1938
VPRS 8714/P1 Children’s Court Registers VA 2638 – Cheltenham Courts unit 1 Oct 1907 – June 1914
VPRS 9303/P1 Dockets [Offender Histories] VA 724 – Victoria Police (including Office of the Chief Commissioner of Police) units 131 – 148 1938
VPRS 10263/T2 Workers Compensation Agreements, Awards and Determinations VA 686 – Public Record Office [also known as Public Record Office Victoria from c.1996] units 1 – 71 1973
VPRS 12739/P1 Tramway Employees Record Cards VA 2694 – Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board units 51 – 53 1957 – 1958
VPRS 13531/P1 Accident Compensation Claim Register, Claims Branch VA 2876 – Victorian Railways unit 17 1957 – 1958
VPRS 13531/P3 Accident Compensation Claim Register, Claims Branch VA 2876 – Victorian Railways unit 1 1952 – 1958
VPRS 15746/P1 Minutes, State Film Centre Council VA 2325 – State Film Centre units 1 – 3 1984 – 1997
VPRS 16484/P1 Board Minutes VA 1350 – Physiotherapists Registration Board of Victoria (I) (previously known as Masseurs Registration Board of Victoria 1923-1978) unit 2 Sept 1960 – June 1963



Storage Standard Review: Draft Specifications for Comment

We invite you to review and comment on proposed amendments to the Specifications associated with the PROS 11/01 Storage Standard. We would like the amended Specifications and associated Checklists to be practical and easy to implement, and to achieve that aim your feedback is invaluable.

The amendments were made following  review of facilities holding State Archives on behalf of the Keeper of Public Records against the Storage Standard in 2012-13. The review identified a number of areas for possible improvement, including the separation of the Agency and APROSS requirements into separate Specifications, as well as clarification and streamlining of requirements to help implementation.

The documents are available for download from our website here:

The commenting period will close on COB Friday 9 May. Please send all feedback and enquiries to

Please be aware that the documents contain proposed amendments and are draft only. The actual changes will be based on feedback received and any additional investigation required.

New Records Transfers

New PROV logo BLACKThe below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 5022: Castlemaine Cemetery Trust
VPRS 17484 / P1 Minute Books (1858-2013)

VA 3675: Brimbank City
VPRS 17069 / P1 Minute Books

VA 3752: Thiess Enviro Services
VPRS 17413 / P1 Water Course Level Height Measurement Files
VPRS 17415 / P1 Water Level Charts- Kiewa River at Kergunyah
VPRS 17416 / P1 Daily Water Level Reading
VPRS 17417 / P1 Return of Water Deliveries
VPRS 17418 / P1 Distribution of Water-Goulburn River System
VPRS 17419 / P1 Distribution of Water- River Murray System
VPRS 17420 / P1 River Gaugings
VPRS 17421 / P1 Water Level Charts
VPRS 17422 / P1 Lake Dartmouth Reservoir Water Level Recorder
VPRS 17423 / P1 River Discharge Measurements
VPRS 17424 / P1 Coliban Water Lost Investigation Files

2014 Privacy Law Reform

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Privacy Amendment Act) introduced significant changes to the Privacy Act. These changes commenced on 12 March 2014. The Privacy Amendment Act enhances the protection of privacy in Australia.   For more information please visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s privacy law reform page

So how will this impact the Victorian public sector?
Below is an excerpt taken from the media release published by the Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner;

Acting Victorian Privacy Commissioner, David Watts, has welcomed the recent changes to federal privacy laws. “These changes came about as a result of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2008 report on their review of Australian privacy laws,” explains Mr Watts.  “One of the benefits of privacy laws is that they give people the right to know why an organisation is asking for their information and what they are going to do with it. These rights have been strengthened for organisations bound by the federal laws. This benefits both consumers and the organisations themselves who can have a better relationship with their customers,” says the Acting Commissioner.

“It is important for the public and Victorian government organisations, local councils and contracted service providers to understand that the federal changes do not affect the Victorian Information Privacy Act 2000  which is administered by the Victorian Privacy Commissioner. This includes when state contracts made with private organisations or Commonwealth agencies include provisions relating to personal information,” Mr Watts says.

“Personal information collected and used by the Victorian Public Sector is covered by the Victorian Information Privacy Act 2000. This law requires organisations to be transparent with their customers and staff when collecting personal information and to ensure that personal information sent outside Victoria is accompanied by appropriate privacy protection. The law also provides the opportunity for a person to make a complaint if they believe their personal information has been improperly administered,” explains Mr Watts.

Detailed information about the Victorian Information Privacy Act can be found at

To read the media release, please visit

The Electrification of Melbourne’s Suburban Railway Network

The Electrification of Melbourne’s Suburban Railway Network

“Photo Album: Electrification Scheme”


VPRS 12397/P1 – Unit 1, Image of Six Car Standard Train

VPRS 12397/P1 – Unit 1, Image of Six Car Standard Train


In 1919 the first Suburban Electric Train Services started in Melbourne.  At the time Melbourne was the largest city in Australia, and was the first to electrify its Train Services.  By 1923 most of the Suburban Train Services were operated by Electric Trains.  It was an immediate success, with patronage soaring as a result of the quicker travel times and increased services which had all been achieved at a reduced cost.

This was the conclusion of a large investment by the Victorian Railways into the new Electric Traction Technology which was to replace the Steam Train Passenger Services of the time.  The Electrification Scheme adopted was from the recommendations of a Report in 1912 which had been noted by a UK Electrical Engineer by the name of Charles Merz.  The Scheme was to be the first application of 1,500 V DC using overhead current collection in the World at the time, and boasted the largest Power Station in the Southern Hemisphere.

This series is a photo album which contains photos relating to the electrification of the Melbourne Suburban Railway System.  The subjects of photographs include buildings such as the Jolimont as well as Caulfield Sub-Stations, the Newport Power Station, promotional shoots of Victorian landmarks and countryside, over line bridges, and track structure.


VPRS 12397/P1 - Unit 1, Image of Port Campbell
VPRS 12397/P1 – Unit 1, Image of Port Campbell


Work on the electrification of the railways commenced c.1912; however there are no dates on the records in this series.  The series date range is an estimation which has been established due to similarities between this series as well as other promotional or publicity material prepared by the Victorian Railways c.1919.  The photographs have been bound together in an album and labelled.



VPRS 12397 Photo Album: Electrification Scheme

Creating Agency:

VA 2876 Victorian Railways (also Victorian Railways Commissioners 1883-1973, Victorian Railways Board 1973-1983)

Agency currently responsible:

VA 2984 Public Transport Corporation, 1999 – cont

                                                                            Sasho Talevski, Access Services Officer

2014 MAY Records Management Network Meeting

The Government Services team at Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) would like to warmly invite you and your fellow record keeping and information management professionals to the next Records Management Network  (RMN) meeting.

The event will take place on the 5th May 2014 at Treasury Theatre, 1 Macarthur Street Melbourne. Presentations will commence at 11:00 am and conclude at 2:30 pm.  

Over the past year, the team has conducted extensive research to analyse exactly what topics are considered both interesting and of importance for our audience such as yourself.  And for this RMN, we have prepared an exciting line up of speakers. Please see a detailed description of the presentations below and the attached flyer.

Free lunch and refreshments will be provided, although we ask you to please specify any dietary requirements with your RSVP.  

Don’t forget to RSVP to by 30 April 2014 to secure your place as we do expect high turnout for this event.

For further information and program times click here to download the Records Management Network Meeting program.

If you have any questions or enquiries please contact Ms Carly Godden, Standards and Policy, on 9348 5659 or email

We look forward to seeing you there!


Alethea Belford: How to ensure your IM project fails!

How do you manage the change associated with your IM project when?

  •  People think it’s boring?
  • You have no budget for change or you’ve outsourced it?
  • You are stuck with proscriptive processes?

Drawing on Melbourne Water’s experience from their Hamer Award winning Info Program, this session explores some of the solutions and obstacles common in IM projects.

Alethea Belford has spent her career working with organisations to improve the effectiveness and compliance of their information management (IM) practices.

Alethea’s core skills centre on information management specialising in strategy and governance, program and project management, content management (ECM/EDRMS), knowledge management and collaboration, enterprise data management, cultural change & engagement and digital archiving/preservation.

Alethea is experienced in multiple sectors, with a focus on government, mining and utilities. Her work has been carried out in both and advisory and an implementation capacity

Richard Vinciullo:  Victoria’s IP Policy and recordkeeping

The State of Victoria’s Intellectual Property Policy provides a framework for how the Victorian Public Sector deals with IP. This impacts on recordkeeping by VPS agencies, particularly in relation to issues such as public accessibility to copyright material and the use of material belonging to third parties. This presentation explores the impacts of the IP Policy on recordkeeping.

Richard Vinciullo is the Manager of the State of Victoria’s Intellectual Property Policy at the Department of Treasury and Finance. He has previously worked in civil law policy and acted as a litigation lawyer.

Anita Parer and Paul Cooper: Digital Trends impacting IM in Governments

Digital Trends are impacting our Information Management landscape and the latest move into cloud, collaboration, and mobility are no exception. Today’s workforce is equipped with marvellously advanced mobile technology that enables our workforce to be more productive without sacrificing flexibility. Organisations are challenged to maintain professional effectiveness, to structure unstructured data, to avoid record duplication, to ensure no legal issues occur, and to manage security and identity. SMS Management & Technology will share with you a successfully proven framework and Government best practice to manage your Information.

Anita Parer has been working in Information Management Consulting since 10 years. Her key focus are emerging trends in data centricity and master data management. Such trends include cloud, mobile devices and access to real time data. She has a strong emphasis on driving rapid business value realisation through focusing on the Minimum Viable Product required for an organisation to implement a solution. End-user and customer focus throughout any project are key to her successful projects.  

Paul Cooper is the Australian Information Industry Association representative on VICTAC and the Victorian Spatial Information Council. With a career of over 28 years that has spanned biomedical research, IT and business solutions he has a strong practical experience in the ways in which information can be used for the benefit of citizens and organisations – and the pitfalls. He has extensive knowledge of the applications of information from his many client engagement including managing a core health infrastructure program: National Authentication Services for Health and the Emergency Services Common Operating Picture. He will share the knowledge management cycle that has proved useful to many of his clients.

Recovering from disaster: the Charlton Golden Grains Museum experience

In 2012, Northern Victoria was subject to wide-spread flooding, leading to significant damage to archival collections housed in the region. Carolyn Olive will discuss how this flooding affected the Charlton Golden Grains Museum archives, and will provide a first-hand perspective of disaster recovery and salvaging of archival and records material. Drawing from this experience, Carolyn will reflect on lessons learnt and the primacy of disaster preparedness and planning for archival institutions and record keepers.

Carolyn Olive is the Secretary and Curator of the Charlton Golden Grains Museum for eight years and also responsible for the digitisation of our photographs and other archives. Instrumental in the recovery and redevelopment of the museum after the January 2011 flood.

Blue Shield Australia – Advocating that your records are safeguard against disasters

The Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. The distinctive emblem was specified by the UNESCO’s 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. It is also the name of the International Committee of Blue Shield (ICBS), set up in 1996 to advise UNESCO on the protection of the world’s cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disasters. With the approval of ICBS in 2005 Blue Shield Australia (BSA) was established. BSA’s vision is to influence disaster preparedness and emergency management in Australia in order to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage within Australia’s areas of responsibility and influence.

This paper will give a brief introduction to the aims and objective of the BSA and will outline basic disaster preparedness strategies. These mitigation measures will help any records manager to reduce the risks of damage or loss of records in their care. Ideally these measure should be integrated into everyday working structures and activities and lead to the establishment of a local network/arrangement for assistance between similar organisations and emergency services with the ultimate aim of hardwiring the relationship and building a community which ensure our cultural heritage becomes ‘disaster resilient’.

Detlev Lueth holds a Bachelor Degree in Applied Science, specializing in the conservation of both Paper & Photographic materials and has been a professional practising conservator for over 15 years.

In 2002 Detlev joined the National Archives of Australia as Assistant Director of Preservation and Digitisation. Previously he has worked as Senior Paper and Exhibitions Conservator at the National Museum of Australia, Senior Film Preservation Officer at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia and Photo Conservator at International Conservation Service in Sydney (ICS). 

He has carried out research and lectured on the preservation and conservation of photographic materials at both Canberra and Melbourne Universities.

Detlev has been an active member of the conservation profession for over twenty years and was named the 2004 Australian Institute for Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM) Conservator of the Year for contributions to photographic conservation. Detlev represents the International Council on Archives (ICA) on the Blue Shield Australia (BSA) Committee and is the current chair of the BSA committee.

Further information is available from our website:

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