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What do I need to know?

PROV holds the records of some local councils and shires relating to management of local roads, streets, footpaths and bridges. Use the street/road/bridge name or the name of the original or current local government name for the area you are searching and use date ranges to narrow down your search (optional).

Keep in mind that the names and boundaries of local councils have changed over time. Try using old local council names for more specific results.

How do I search?

Enter a street/road/bridge name or a local government name and/or date ranges. If you want to browse a list of all records PROV currently holds relating to local roads, streets, footpaths and bridges managed by local councils and shires, enter nothing and press the search button. On the search results page, use the filter toggle arrows to the left of the page to narrow the results, either by local government in the 'Created by' filter toggle arrows or by series name.

If too many results are coming up on your keyword search, for a more exact search use inverted commas, for example, "Wellington Street".

About these records

Local councils and shires hold responsibility for the management of local roads, streets, footpaths and bridges, these are mainly located in local neighbourhods and are usually not major routes or arterial roads that are managed by other statewide agencies such as VicRoads. The records created as a result of this work document a rich variety of details about local built environments in Victoria.

Who created these records?

These records were created by local councils and shires across the whole of Victoria. The coverage is not uniform as we do not have records for all local roads, streets, footpaths and bridges administered by all local councils or shires.

Next Steps

Order the records of interest and view in our Reading Room. Some records are born digital records and can be accessed directly online. 

What are in these records?

Records relate to the construction and maintenance of local streets, roads, footpaths and bridges. There are records relating to private streets, alignments, subdivisions, payments and contributions, contracts, quotes and accounts, local traffic management and regulation, or committee meetings. The records come in various formats:

  • correspondence
  • lists of street names
  • registers of street construction
  • ledgers and other financial records
  • minutes books
  • by-laws

Tip: Keep in mind that the names and boundaries of local shires and councils have changed over time. In particular, during the 1990s many councils were amalgamated and superseded by the Victorian councils we have today. Look under the former name for that council if you’re looking for older council records.

While some of these council/shire records have good item level descriptions where, for instance, the street name is in the title, others only have box level descriptions that indicate the general topic covered, for instance, roads and footpaths.

There may be some digitised images relating to your search, to see these at the top of your search results select the Digital option in the View Record filter toggle arrows on the left of the screen. You can also use these to explore only results from particular series or created by particular agencies.

The bridge or road you are researching may have come under statewide government responsibility, particularly if they were large or important, and located on main road routes. To search these use either the Bridge construction, management and maintenance or Roads management, construction and maintenance search pages respectively.

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