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This page is a general guide to preparing hard copy records for transfer to PROV.

The format of the record will determine how they will be packed and transferred to PROV. Please consult with PROV for specific advice before commencing. We strongly advise that agencies contact PROV before purchasing any archival supplies such as boxes, bags etc.

How to prepare hardcopy records

Ensure you have enough space so that records can be arranged into their series before you begin.

Ensure the following:

  • You have appropriate space to sort, process and describe the records in readiness for transfer to PROV
  • You have space to store and sort through your unsorted material as well as space and shelving to store processed records prior to transfer to PROV
  • You have access to a computer to complete records description listings for example
  • You have archival materials as advised by PROV for your particular transfer project
  • Ideally you need to have arrangements for both seated and standing work, including appropriate desks and chairs.

Please ensure that records are in a clean condition prior to their transfer to PROV. If possible remove rusted pins, bulldog clips, and/or rubber bands. If you believe the records are damaged or fragile, please consult PROV for specific advice on how they should be managed.

Records being transferred to PROV should be arranged in the order in which they were kept when the recordkeeping system was in active use.

PROV accepts records in acid free archival storage containers, which comply with the National Archives of Australia’s “archival quality” requirements.

Please see the Boxes and Archival Supplies page for a list of commonly used suppliers.

When packing your records into archival boxes, ensure that:

  • Items are placed in boxes from front to back
  • Boxes are not over packed. Leave approximately 5cm of room in the box to allow for files to be removed and replaced easily. (As a gauge, ensure that there is sufficient room for a hand to be placed into the box so that the fingertips are able to touch the bottom)
  • It is important to pack boxes in sequential order and to maintain the numerical sequence of volumes and boxes at all times, as this assists the transport and re-shelving of records in the repository at PROV
  • It is also important when packing records to ensure that the file numbers and item descriptions are easy to locate. 

An RDL describes each record in a consignment which is part of the transfer. It is directly imported into PROV’s archival management system, and the data captured is made available in the PROV online catalogue.

The descriptive metadata captured in the RDL will vary depending on the record. PROV will provide specific advice before you commence listing.

This is an example of an RDL template that PROV will provide as an Excel file once your transfer has commenced:

When completing an RDL ensure that:

  • A separate RDL is completed for each series and consignment 
  • Each row in the RDL template is equal to one record item
  • The title matches what is on the physical record so that it is easily identifiable. Each item must be described so that it is meaningful to users of the PROV online catalogue and so the description can be used by PROV repository staff to retrieve the record
  • If the record is in multiple part over multiple containers, each part must be listed individually
  • Items should be listed in the order that they are found in the box
  • Some records that cannot be easily retrieved individually can be listed as a range within a container, for example Index Cards
  • Agencies are welcome to hide columns on the RDL template but columns are NOT to be deleted. If columns are deleted then PROV will be unable to import the data into our archival management system
  • When entering the date range information into the relevant column please ensure that it is in the format: DD/MM/YYYY or YYYY only.

PROV will supply you with container labels, which contain the Victorian Public Records Series (VPRS) number, consignment number, and container number.

Labels are only placed on containers or unboxed volumes. You will not be required to label individual items within a box.

When attaching labels, ensure that:

  • PROV labels are placed on the front of the box (so that the box opens from right to left)
  • Volumes are labelled on their spine if the spine is wide enough. The label should be placed just above the base of the volume and should not obstruct or conceal any information located on the spine
  • If the spine of the book is too narrow the label should be placed on the bottom left-hand corner of the volume
  • For maps and plans, the labels should be placed on the bag on the bottom right corner.

If your record types aren’t covered above, please seek advice from PROV on how they should be labelled before you attach any labels.

Once records are packed and labelled, submit your PRO 21C Notification of Uplift form to PROV in order to arrange an uplift date.

Things to ensure when preparing for uplift:

  • If stacking boxes prior to transfer they should not be stacked more than five high
  • Records are to be delivered to PROV at 112 Macaulay Road North Melbourne, and placed in sequential order on allocated shelving
  • Agencies are responsible for engaging a reputable carrier to transfer the records to PROV
  • Records are transferred in a fully enclosed vehicle. Trucks or utilities with trays and tarpaulins are not acceptable
  • Records are secured in the vehicle so that boxes or items (such as volumes) do not move around losing their sequence or emptying their contents.

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