Digitised North Melbourne rate books for 1855-1905 are now available through our online catalogue.
In the nineteenth century, North Melbourne was known as the Hotham Ward of the City of Melbourne. Melbourne’s stockyards and meat markets were centered around this area and evidence of this activity survives to this day in features such as the wide streets for cattle and the Meat Market Arts Centre, as well as the colloquial name of ‘Shinboners’ for the North Melbourne Football Club.
Rates for commercial and residential properties in the area were ‘assessed’ and collected annually. Rate collectors walked the streets assessing properties and noting details of owners and tenants. The Rate Book for each year was then signed off as a key record of the city’s finances.
Rate books for North Melbourne for the years 1855-1905 are now available for download here.
These records will be of particular interest for property research and finding out original home owners in the area.
Navigating the archives
To find details of a particular property you need to browse the online files, listed by year, and then find the street address.
The rates are listed by the street that the property was on – though the streets are not listed alphabetically – we think that the books are in the order in which the assessors walked the streets. Once you’ve found a property in a volume for one year, it will generally be in a similar position in volumes for other years, although the boundaries were redrawn and property numbers changed every so often.
These volumes were digitised with the support of the Melbourne Library Service as part of a project to digitise previously microfilmed records. As well as these volumes (VPRS 5707) rate and valuation books for the Melbourne CBD (VPRS 5708) and the Flemington/ Kensington area (VPRS 4097) were also copied and are available online. Copies of these images are also available at Melbourne Library Service branches.