What do I need to know?
The Koorie index of names is a database which can be searched to locate references to Victorian Aboriginal people who are mentioned in some archival records that relate to Aboriginal affairs (1839-1946). This database is not accessible online and is only searchable on-site at the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne. The original archival record has been transcribed for the Koorie Index of Names. Therefore the index may reflect variations in spelling of names and places.
The index is not a dossier of Aboriginal people, groups and places in Victoria.
How do I search?
- The index can be searched on computers at the Victorian Archives Centre reading room in North Melbourne.
- Enter a partial or full name into the index. Entering less information (for example, surname only, or partial surname) can sometimes yield more results.
- You can also search by place (for example, Lake Tyers, Milltown).
- Note the reference number provided and enter this information into the advanced search page - then order the original archival record in which the name appears.
- Original records, once ordered, can be viewed and copied in PROV's North Melbourne Reading Room.
About these records
The records that have been indexed so far broadly cover the period 1839 to 1946.
Most of the government records linked to these names are letters and reports relating to the Victorian Aboriginal missions and reserves, as well as the early work of the Aboriginal Protectorate. The records were created by government employees, mission and reserve staff, as well as Aboriginal people.
Who created these records?
The index can be used to find references to people in:
- Board for the Protection of Aborigines: Correspondence files, 1867–1946, Record series number (VPRS) 1694
- Unregistered inward correspondence to the Chief Protector of Aborigines – reports and returns, 1847–1851. Record series number (VPRS) 11
- Inward Registered Correspondence to the Superintendent of Port Phillip District, relating to Aboriginal Affairs, 1839–1851 Record series number (VPRS) 10
Aboriginal family history researchers can request searches of both the Koorie Index of Names and BTH (National Archives) databases of Aboriginal names by contacting the Koorie Reference Officer using our online enquiry form.
Also, for information about Aboriginal people in the records of the National Archives of Australia, see their Bringing Them Home name index webpage.
The index only covers a small portion of material about Aboriginal Victorians in our collection. See the Aboriginal Victorians page for links to further record series which are not covered by the index.
The Koorie Index of Names can also be searched on-site at the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne.
What are in these records?
The index does not contain personal information about the people named, but provides a reference to the original archival record where that name appears.
Information indexed includes:
- names of Aboriginal people
- names of non-Aboriginal people related to or associated with Aboriginal people
- names of Government missions and reserves where Aboriginal people were placed
- names of Government stations and depots associated with Aboriginal people
- places where Aboriginal people have lived or visited
- details of records where that name appears
These records provide evidence of past attitudes held by government officials and other individuals and may contain information which may be culturally insensitive or inappropriate.
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.