You will need to register and log in to order physical records. If you do not already have a Public Record Office Victoria user account register here.
Records can be ordered from the following catalogue pages:
- search results
- series, consignment, unit and item details pages
- my orders: history
- my orders: my alerts
- direct order
For wills, probate and inquest files go directly to those topic pages and search
Not sure if the records you need are closed or open? Log in and search directly on the catalogue.
What records can I order?
Open and closed access records for which the agency is responsible
Agencies can order and retrieve all closed access records in PROV custody for which the agency is responsible.
Open access records are generally only viewable at the Victorian Archives Centre (VAC) Reading Room. However, agencies can apply for an exemption via email to be able to retrieve and view the records in their agency.
See Responsible Agencies for further information about searching for records.
All open access records
Agencies can order and view all open records in PROV custody for which they are not responsible.
However, the records can only be viewed at the VAC Reading Room.
How many records can I order?
If you hold a Government user account you can order up to 24 items at one time. These can be open records, or closed records if your agency is responsible for those records.
Location of records
The repository, either North Melbourne or Ballarat, at which the records are located will be shown on the location field of a search result on PROV’s online catalogue, and cannot be changed.
Collecting open records – Victorian Archives Centre
Records will be issued only to the person who has ordered them. Written authorisation must be provided to enable someone else to view the records you have ordered. The person viewing records on your behalf will need to present photo ID to Reading Room staff when requesting records for viewing. Open records are delivered to the VAC Reading Room Monday to Friday at the following times: 10.30am and 2.30pm.
To receive records at these collection times, records must be ordered before:
- 8.00am to make the 10.30 am collection time
- 11.30am to make the 2.30pm collection time
There are up to 8 units or items per delivery for each researcher. Each researcher can have a maximum of 24 records on order at a time. Records are held in the Reading Room for 10 working days before being returned to the repository. If you require more time to use records that you have ordered you can inform Reading Room staff who will arrange for them to be held over. Please note: records held in cold storage require 24 hours before they can be delivered to a Reading Room.
Collecting closed records – Victorian Archives Centre repository
Closed records (ordered by a government user account holder who is from the agency responsible for those records) will be made available from the repository collection point; the loading bay at 112 Macaulay Road, North Melbourne. Orders that are made by 11:30am can be picked up on the next working day between 10am and 11am. Orders will be held for 10 working days before being returned to the repository. See below for procedures for collecting records.
Collecting open records – Ballarat Archives Centre
Records will be issued only to the person who has ordered them. Written authorisation must be provided to enable someone else to view the records you have ordered. The person viewing records on your behalf will need to present photo ID to Reading Room staff when requesting records for viewing. The Ballarat Archives Centre is open from 10.00 am – 4.30pm on Monday and Tuesday. Open records are delivered to the Reading Room at the Ballarat Archives Centre on these days.
Collecting closed records – Ballarat Archives Centre repository
Closed records, ordered by a government user account holder who is from the agency responsible for those records, will be made available from the repository collection point. See below for procedures for collecting records.
Procedures for collection of closed records
- Authorised couriers can collect and deliver records on behalf of an agency, by arrangement with PROV. To nominate your courier service, you can download and complete the Agency Collection Agent Authority form and fax it to PROV.
- Staff members of the ordering agency who are collecting records must provide identification that they are an employee of that agency, such as a staff card.
- People collecting orders from the Victorian Archives Centre can go to the repository loading bay and contact Record Issues Office staff on the intercom located by the roller doors. People collecting from the Ballarat Archives Centre can go to the Reading Room.
- Records will be brought to the loading bay.
- The person taking delivery of the records will be required to sign for the collection of records.
Treatment of records and storage containers
To maintain the integrity and condition of records, and to ensure future access, it is vital that records are preserved in their original context and in their original physical condition. Please observe the following:
- do not add any kind of records to files retrieved from PROV
- do not alter any record. This includes rearranging the contents of files or marking files
- do not replace original records with photocopies or copies of any kind.
Storage containers and records should be handled with care. Please do not attempt to mend damaged records, particularly with adhesive tape. Your repairs may cause further deterioration to the records in the long term. If you have noticed damage to a record please advise PROV staff when you return the record. All storage containers and records have been assigned a permanent barcode. Most barcodes are placed on the face of the record or on the polyethylene bag which contains the record. Government users must ensure that all barcode labels remain intact on the records and that records remain in their correct file covers, file bags, delivery bags and containers, and that no other labels are affixed to records or their containers.
Return of records
Closed records which have been issued to you are to be returned within 60 days. Public Record Office Victoria will only accept returned records which have been issued by PROV. Records that were not previously in PROV custody must not be included with records being returned.
How do I direct order?
If you know the series, consignment, unit and item details of records you wish to order, you can enter these into the direct order page. Direct order can also be used to bulk order multiple units from the same series.
Step 1: Log on to PROV’s online catalogue at www.access.prov.vic.gov.au. Register a government user account, if you do not already have one.
Step 2: Select direct order from the ordering menu. The direct order page will be displayed.
Step 3: Ordering an item: Enter valid numbers for all fields; series no, consignment, unit and item, as in the example above.
Step 4: Click on the order button.
Ordering a unit
Use the same steps as above but click on the unit tab and enter valid numbers for the series no, consignment and unit fields.
How do I bulk order?
To order multiple units from the same series and consignment, select the unit tab, and enter the series number and consignment number, and the unit numbers. When entering the unit numbers, ensure that each number is separated by a comma followed by a space. If your request has been successful, the ordered record/s will be displayed in the current orders list at the bottom of the page. This list displays all the orders that are visible on your my orders: current page.
How do I place and cancel alerts and order from my alerts?
If you try to order a record that is currently on order by another user, an order status page will be displayed. From here, alerts can be placed on any records that are able to be ordered, but currently unavailable. When the record becomes available for ordering, the alert will appear in your my orders: my alerts page. The record can be ordered from this page.
Step 1: Tick the check box next to entries for records that you would like to receive an alert about when they become available.
Step 2: Click on the place alerts button. The records that were put on alert will be removed from the list displayed in the order status page.
When a unit or item has been placed on alert and it becomes available, the alert will be displayed on your my orders: my alerts page.
Ordering from my alerts
If an alert is displayed on your my orders: my alerts page you can order the record.