Last updated:

August 30, 2021

We are excited to announce that as of June 2019 the new Ballarat Archives Centre reading room at the Eureka Centre is open, forming a new shared resource and research hub for the community.

The Eureka Centre is located at 102 Stawell Street South, Ballarat Central (see below). The Ballarat Archives Centre name has been retained, with the reading room named after local historian and former PROV employee, the late Dr Joan Hunt. 
 

New reading room times and services

  • The reading room is now open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4.30pm.
  • Free Wi-fi is available. 
  • There will be one delivery of records per day from our new storage site at Mount Helen to the Eureka Centre. For ordering records from your home computer to view at the Centre, please note: 
    Records must be ordered by 3pm for viewing after 11am the next day.
    Keep in mind due to BAC being closed on Fridays, records ordered after 3pm Thursday won't be available until 11am on Tuesday.
  • Note: Much of the Ballarat collection has now been digitised including Rate Books and Petty Sessions Registers covering Ballarat and the surrounding areas. 

 

 

Information for Government agencies storing records at BAC

While our reading room is now located at the Eureka Centre, our collection of records has been distributed between two sites for storage: The State Library Victoria storage facility at Mt Helen for all open records and the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne for all closed records.  

All ordered records will be couriered to the Eureka Centre for pick up Monday to Thursday 10am to 2pm - with closed records now requiring a 48 hour turnaround. (Unless you want to pick-up closed records from North Melbourne, in which case this can be done during normal collection time 10am to 11am daily).

 

Background

PROV operated the old Ballarat Archive Centre (BAC) since the early 1980s including a Reading Room (operating between 10.00am – 4.30pm Monday & Tuesday), a Repository holding approximately 1500 linear metres of records, as well as a staff work and amenities area.

Over the years the facility suffered numerous water leaks, efflorescence (and while not harmful to humans it can damage some collection items) and rising damp problem. The Centre was cramped and while risks were managed, they could not be totally resolved as they were all issues related to the building’s structure. 

Discussions with other local cultural institutions to determine if our Reading Room services could be effectively relocated and our collection stored in a secure and environmentally controlled facility within the Ballarat region successfully led us to the new arrangement at the Eureka Centre.

The following outlines the relocation project we undertook and updates we have continued to share on this page and throughout our networks. 
 

The project objectives were:

  • Secure the collection at a site that meets PROV’s Storage Standard PRO 11/1 Specification 2 Storing and Managing State Archives.
  • Deliver a new service delivery model that is effective in meeting researcher needs and which is financially viable.
  • Ensure ongoing costs of the new service delivery models are budget neutral.
  • Ensure a smooth and efficient transition of PROV’s public facing services into the nominated location.
     

Project benefits:

  • Researchers will be provided with access to better facilities and the Reading Room hours may be increased.
  • Records will be stored in a facility that protects the collection and meets PROV’s Storage Standard.
  • Health and safety risks for staff will be reduced by moving to a new site that meets PROV’s standards and a better designed and functional repository space.
  • There will be increased access to the Collection through the digitisation of more Ballarat records, which will be undertaken ahead of schedule to support the relocation.
  • Temporary records held in the Collection will be distributed to Places of Deposit within the region.
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