We are excited to announce that the new Ballarat Archives Centre reading room at the Eureka Centre is now 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.
- Only limited services are currently available so we recommend bringing your laptop until we have computers set up and ready to go.
- 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 and 68 series of Rate Books and Petty Sessions Registers covering Ballarat and the surrounding areas will be available online throughout our Beta website over the next few months as we continue to complete work on our new web services.
One thing that hasn't changed is our friendly team - our long-standing Ballarat Archives staff have moved to the Eureka Centre too.
PROV will conduct a review of these arrangements in September 2019. Any feedback you have on these new arrangements, we'd love to hear it! Fill out our feedback form available via our contact page here.
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).
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.
- 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.
- View the Ballarat Council announcement, dated 6 May 2019, here.
- It's confirmed! The Ballarat Archives Centre will soon move to a brand new building! We will have more specific information about the new building for you very soon. In the meantime we want to flag with researchers these important dates. From 27 May to 17 June our collection will be unavailable to order and view due to the relocation. Please ensure you plan your research around these dates. We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.
- PROV will be transferring part of its Ballarat collection to our North Melbourne location to undertake some vital archival documentation work. Only a very small number of these records are currently available to order online. Please check when ordering Ballarat records to see which Reading Room they can be viewed at. Note that if you have ordered a Ballarat record and it says that it can be viewed within the North Melbourne Reading Room, please discuss your access options with the Ballarat staff. This work will commence on 6th March 2019 and is estimated to take 6 months to complete. This is part of our larger project aimed at improving collection documentation in association with the move of our Ballarat collection to a new, contemporary storage facility.
- We will be moving the collection to the State Library Victoria site at Mount Helen. Expected to occur between April - June 2019.
- We are in discussions with the Council regarding the possibility of relocating the Reading Room services to the former site of the Museum of Australian Democracy.
- A new service delivery model for Ballarat is being developed. Once a model is developed we will seek feedback from all stakeholders.
- Existing PROV staff in Ballarat will move to the new Reading Room location.
- Services will need to be closed for a short time to allow relocation of operations to occur. Once that period is determined we will advise all stakeholders.
- We will continue to digitise parts of the Ballarat collection. We are currently working through the map/plan collection, and digitised Ballarat Rate Books are expected to be published in the first half of 2019.
- A survey of the Ballarat collection is being undertaken to ensure documentation of collection is to standard.
- The survey has so far identified a number of temporary records that may become available to PODs within the region.
This page will be continually updated as decisions are made and information becomes available. We will also communicate with local groups and researchers directly and via our other channels including social media and newsletter.