Last updated:

January 25, 2023

If you're interested in our program, read on below to find out what volunteering involves. The program operates on weekdays and prospective volunteers need basic computer skills.

 

Who can volunteer?

While many volunteers are recruited through genealogical and historical societies, we welcome all kinds of volunteers. There is an increasing proportion of younger volunteers, university students and international students. We do not usually accept secondary school work placements as volunteers, however students can apply for our work experience program.

 

PROV values the contribution of all volunteers. We embrace diversity and welcome applications from people of all cultural backgrounds, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, as well as people with a disability. As such PROV offers reasonable adjustments for applicants with disabilities on request.

 

What skills are required to volunteer?

We require volunteers to be proficient in Microsoft applications (especially Excel and Word). Depending on the projects you undertake at PROV you may receive training in document preservation, proofreading, data entry, and scanning documents. Attention to detail is vital for much of the work, and research experience is welcomed.

 

What skills will you learn?

We provide worksite training for each volunteer project which can include data processing, digitising, and document handling.

Volunteers work on a range of tasks, including:

  • creating data about collection items, to be published on PROV’s catalogue
  • transcribing original documents (either to publish searchable data or for exhibitions)
  • creating digital images of original records
  • repackaging records, to aid their preservation.

Most projects comprise two or more of the elements above.

 

What type of work do volunteers do?

Volunteers carry out a range of activities which generally involve creating highly detailed information about records, or transcribing the text from the pages of original records. Tasks also include creating archival data for PROV’s online catalogue, physically processing records into archival containers, indexing portions of the collection, and transcribing documents for exhibitions. These projects help PROV provide public access to Victoria’s archives.

 

What do volunteers enjoy about volunteering at PROV?

In a recent survey, volunteers rated the following three factors as the most enjoyable aspects of volunteering at PROV:

  • interesting work and working with historical records
  • social interaction
  • it fits with existing interest in research/family history.

 

Can I volunteer on any day or time?

The volunteer program operates from 8:30am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays). We ask volunteers to nominate specific blocks of time when they’ll attend PROV, so we can maximise the use of our available volunteer spaces and the number of people who can become involved in the program. Subject to availability, volunteers come to PROV weekly or fortnightly; some come for a whole day, others come for the morning (ending at 1pm) or afternoon (starting at 1pm).

 

What happens if I can’t come in for any reason (for instance, if I’m sick or on holidays)?

It is expected that volunteers have other things going on in their life alongside volunteer commitments, and the program is flexible enough to accommodate these needs. We appreciate being notified in advance of any absences, where possible. 

 

Volunteering location

Victorian Archives Centre at 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne.

Free off-street parking is available, there is a local bus, and trains and trams are just a few minutes' walk away. Volunteers have access to staff kitchen and dining facilities.

Further information about our locations is available on our contact us page.

All volunteers must adhere to PROV COVID Safe protocols.

 

How do I volunteer?

If you are interested in volunteering at PROV, please contact us:

email: volunteers@prov.vic.gov.au

phone: 03 9348 5781

Thank you for your interest in the PROV volunteer program!

 

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

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.

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