Photo of Tara Oldfield

Author: Tara Oldfield

Senior Communications Advisor

Early 20th century photos of the construction of Victoria’s roads and bridges are now available as part of our collection.

The Country Roads Board (now Vic Roads) series of images consists of negatives and digitised photos which capture the construction of roads and bridges, including engineering techniques and materials and machinery utilised to develop road networks. The series also features staff and workers who contributed to the improvement of Victoria's roads and documents the implementation of road safety awareness into Victorian society. The photographs in this series were taken by a variety of in-house photographers. The negatives span from 1913 to 1973 while the corresponding digitised photographs are being progressively added over time, starting with the earliest images first.


Digitised photographs

You can search through and download the digitised photographs that have been added to our collection as TIFs here. 
They are generally listed by location, sometimes with additional information on the surroundings. Many of the photographs also contain descriptions within them (as can be seen in the selection below). Note that the images are high resolution, so file sizes are large and may take some time to download.



You can search the full collection including negatives here. 

For images dated later years, you may need to refer to the negatives until all digitised photographs have been added to our collection. The best way to do this is to consult the photographic register here to identify images of interest before ordering the negatives to view in our reading room.

Here is a small sample from the series to get your started!

black and white photo of market day at Dandenong


black and white photo of a man showing children a motor car


black and white photo of ashpalt being poured on a road


black and white photo of a horse and cart being loaded with construction materials


road works by two men


corner of road in Upper Beaconsfield


councillors on motor car


We often share digitised photographs from this collection on our social media channels as part of our Monday #SuburbsofMelbourne posts, so it's worth keeping an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages if you're keen to see some of our favourites on a weekly basis.  

Note: This blog post was updated on 31 July 2018 to reflect the full scope of the series and additions to the collection since April 2017.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples