5 July 2020 update
Due to Stay at Home restrictions in place for Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, the Victorian Archives Centre is temporarily closed to visitors.
This closure applies to Reading Room visits for the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) and the National Archives of Australia.
All bookings and record orders while we are closed will be cancelled.
Our catalogue is still available on prov.vic.gov.au with digitised collection items available online. Staff will continue to answer research questions submitted through our website and on social media.
We will closely monitor the directions from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and the Victorian Government and keep you updated about our plans to reopen.
For information about coronavirus (COVID-19), how to reduce the risk of infection and slow its spread in our community, visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
Thank you for your understanding.
Past updates below
From Tuesday 16 June we are pleased to re-open the Victorian Archives Centre Reading Room to the public. To ensure we are continuing to keep everyone safe we have made some temporary changes to our services.
To visit the Reading Room you must:
1. Order a record from the Public Record Office Victoria and/or National Archives Australia collection
2. Book a session prior to your visit at https://booking.prov.vic.gov.au/
Due to space limits, researchers without prior bookings will not be admitted.
In accordance to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines, sessions in the Reading Room will be limited to two hours. Please plan your visit with this time allocation in mind.
When visiting the Reading Room you will be able to:
• make an online booking before coming in (there are two public sessions per day, Monday to Friday, 10 am to 12 midday and 1 to 3 pm)
• view records you have pre-ordered for the two-hour sitting
• use computers for up to 30 minutes
• access the PROV website to view topic pages and lodge complex inquiries
• access key resources including Ancestry.com and the Land Titles website
• use your own laptop or tablet with free Wi-Fi available
• take photographs of records using your mobile phone, tablet or personal digital camera
• place copy orders in the Reading Room, with credit card payment
• place remote copy orders (except fast tracked).
As the building will be locked and we will only be admitting visitors with bookings, for ease of access we recommend that you park in Shiel Street where two-hour parking is available rather than in the carpark.
You will be unable to:
• seek extended advice from Reading Room staff as this does not meet physical distancing requirements
• ask a staff member to help you with the public computers
• use PROV cameras and scanners
• access microfilm, microfiche and other reference material on the shelves
• make cash payments
• undertake lengthy research as each sitting is restricted to two hours
• remain in the Reading Room after your booking has ended
• obtain or partake of refreshments at the Archives Centre foyer
• enter the Archives Centre Gallery (you can now view our current exhibition online)
• visit us on Saturdays.
These arrangements will be reviewed in accordance with any revised guidance from the Victorian Government on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.
Please keep an eye on the contact us page of our website for regional centre opening dates as they are announced.
To keep you safe we have:
• established a limit of 15 visitors in the Reading Room to ensure physical distancing
• reconfigured the Reading Room to be in line with DHHS coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations
• installed hand sanitisers throughout the building for staff and visitors
• increased our cleaning requirements including regular cleaning of doors and handles plus thorough cleaning of the Reading Room between morning and afternoon sessions
• implemented new systems and processes to avoid touching objects and to ensure a safe distance, where possible
• replaced some IT equipment with equipment that can be cleaned thoroughly between uses
• installed signs across the building to remind staff and visitors about hygiene and physical distancing requirements
• installed Perspex barriers at counters to provide additional protection for staff and visitors
• introduced the use of personal protective equipment (e.g. face masks) where required
• quarantine all physical records used by visitors for 72 hours after use.
All visitors to the Victorian Archives will be required to provide their contact details as a condition of entry. If you are visiting the archives please maintain your distance from other visitors and staff, and practise good hygiene. If you are unwell, please stay home.
Thank you for your patience. We are pleased be able to provide public access to our fantastic collection of historic records and we appreciate everyone taking on these new temporary measures to ensure we keep our staff and visitors safe.
For those who do not wish to venture into the archives, we hope you will continue to access our digitised collection items online and follow us on our social media channels to stay connected.