Last updated:

August 9, 2021

Copying and publishing public records

Most original records held by PROV can be copied, except where copying would cause damage.

Making your own copies

Using a search agent

Using PROV's copy service

Certified copies for legal purposes

Obtaining permission to publish

Making your own copies in a reading room

Digital cameras

Researchers can make copies of records free of charge using their own digital camera, provided that conditions of use are observed. 

Hand held scanners/portable scanners

Hand held or portable scanners are permitted to be used in the reading room to copy original records as long as these devices DO NOT come in contact with the record.

Please note: The use of personal equipment such as USB drives and external hard disk drives on IT systems and resources (including computers, digital cameras and scanners) provided for public use in the Reading Room is undertaken entirely at the user’s own risk. PROV does not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage or data corruption incurred as a result of the use of its IT systems or resources.

PROV cameras and scanners

We have provided digital cameras and scanners at the North Melbourne and Ballarat reading rooms that you can use to copy records that you have requested to view. Bring a USB stick or portable hard drive to save the images to when you visit.

Using a search agent

If you are not able to visit a reading room to view records and arrange your copy order, you may wish to hire a search agent to undertake this on your behalf.  See Research Agents for contact details.

Using PROV's copy service

Copy orders can be placed in person at PROV’s reading rooms or online.

Step 1: 'Select' the record in our catalogue and click through to your account with us (you may need to log in).

Step 2: From the 'My Selections'  list, follow the prompts to choose the type of copy you wish.

Step 3: We will quote a price for copying the records you have requested. 

  • The system will either give you a price right away, or we will contact you with a price once we have looked at the records. 
  • Payment is by credit card.  We will only ask for payment after we have provided a quote, but we do ask that you provide contact details as part of your initial request.


Copying Services Type Charge
Digital copies Maps, plans or other oversized single-page documents $22.20 each
  Standard sized document – up to first 20 pages $22.20 
  For every 30 pages following $17.80
Paper copies Standard sized document – for every 20 pages $16.30
Fast-track priority queue (only available for standard documents under 20 pages) Copied next business day* $7.50
  Copied same business day* $15.00
Certification of copies (see below)  For each document certified add $5.00


Postage Service Type (or equivalent eg. 5 x A3 or 10 x A4 Charge
Envelopes Large Letter format: up to 99 A4 pages $9.00
  Parcel format: 100-599 A4 pages $17.00
  Parcel format: 600-999 A4 pages $21.00
Tubes   Price on application
CDs   $9.00
DX Up to 799 A4 pages $2.00
DX 800+ A4 pages $8.65
Overseas   Price on application
Registered mail an additional   $3.50
















We will provide copies of records to you within 25 working days if you have requested them using our standard service.  

For some types of records, you can request that the order be fast-tracked. We will ask for an additional fee.

*Note that these timeframes are calculated from the time that we receive payment for the order.

Receiving your copy order

The form to request a copy suggests several methods of providing the completed copy to you, including postage, electronic delivery, or pickup from the Victorian Archives Centre. 

Certified copies for legal purposes

Copies of public records produced by PROV can be certified for legal purposes by the Keeper of Public Records. 

It is advisable to allow 10 working days for certification which is undertaken subject to the availability of the Keeper of Public Records. To ensure the integrity of certified records, copies of records will only be certified by the Keeper if the copy has been made by PROV and has not left PROV custody.

Obtaining permission to publish

Before a public record can be reproduced in a publication or exhibition, the written permission of the copyright holder must be obtained. Refer to Copyright For Researchers for information about the permissions process. You must also note down the citation details for the item you wish to publish and complete an application for permission to publish form. See here for guidelines on how to cite public records correctly.