What do I need to know?
Key details of a public building such as:
- building name
- location, and
PROV holds both the 256,000 original plans and a microform copy of the plans. Data about both the original plans and the microform copies is progressively being added to PROV's catalogue, so that the records can be discovered and ordered online. If you are unable to find a plan of a building of interest, contact us.
How do I search?
- Most plans are titled by the building name or location
- Put quotation marks around the search "Geelong High school" for exact results.
How do I order?
From the search results, select and order records with descriptions that match your research interest. The original plans (VPRS 3686) can be viewed in the North Melbourne Reading Room. If you order microform copies of plans (VPRS 3687), you'll receive a notification that these records are being evaluated due to a potential preservation issue (the microform cannot be handled and viewed without risk of damage). However, these microform records will be imaged and published, so that you can view them online.
About these records
These records detail construction plans of many buildings, as well as plans of their grounds, electrical work and other services created between 1840 and 1998.
Examples of 'public works' buildings are state schools, prisons, courts, hospitals, and departmental offices. In addition, these series also contain plans such as bridge and road construction, civil surveys and drainage.
Who created these records?
These records were created and managed by the Public Works Department and (amongst many other successor bodies), the Building Services Agency. The group of plans as a whole are often colloquially known by the initials of these agencies: "PWD Plans" or "BSA plans".
Public Works Department (previously the Department of the Commissioner of Public Works) 1855-1987 (VA 669)
View original records in the Reading Room, or view digitised records online.
What are in these records?
Examples of 'public works' buildings are state schools, prisons, courts, hospitals, among many others. In addition, these series also contain plans such as bridge and road construction.
The plans should all contain information such as:
- plan title
- building title
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