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Author: Tara Oldfield
Ballarat rate books housed at the Ballarat Archives Centre
The historic rate books held at Ballarat Archives Centre are some of our most popular regional records. They include rates from Ballarat and surrounding suburbs and are a fantastic resource for those researching the history of their home. The records include rate payments on properties, name of owner, description of property, annual value and credits for amount of payments and arrears.
On the 5th of July we transferred rate books held in Ballarat to the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne for our volunteers to digitise. The digitised records will gradually be made available online over the next twelve months for researchers to access no matter where they are in the world.
We are expecting the digitisation work to be completed by the 15th of September at which point the records will be transferred back to Ballarat and available to order as usual from the Ballarat Archives Centre. In the meantime, these records are unavailable to researchers.
Digitisation in action
You can see here our volunteers hard at work digitising the records. Some of the rate books were so large, as is the case in the first photo, that the camera used to photograph the record had to be moved almost up to the ceiling!
Historic homes research
Are you embarking on renovations and want to pay respect to your home’s heritage? Maybe you’re just keen to find out who built the house or who lived there long before you did? This research guide, developed in collaboration with Ballarat City Council, provides an introduction to what government records can reveal when trying to discover the hidden history of a home. Get familiar with this guide and once the Ballarat rate books are returned in September you can get researching!