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How to get in touch with Public Record Office Victoria

Last updated:

August 4, 2020

I'm a researcher

Due to COVID-19, we have made temporary changes to our Reading Room services, see here for more information.

Due to some recent system upgrades (on 1 October 2019) a few users may experience difficulty logging into their accounts. Call us on 9348 5600 if you're one of those affected. 

This is our new website. Please help us improve it by sending your feedback to feedback@prov.vic.gov.au.If possible please include a link to any specific page you may be referring to.

Copy requests can be placed in person at our Reading Rooms, or online.

•    Step 1: You must order the record under your own user account first, so we can retrieve it from storage. You can order the record and create an account (if you don't have one) through our online catalogue. 
•    Step 2: Write down the citation details (e.g. VPRS 1163/P1, Unit 744, 1883/291).
•    Step 3: Submit an online form to request a record to be copied. 
•    Step 4: We'll then contact you with the next steps including how much your request will cost. 

From there, the copying process can take up to 25 working days, and we will only contact you if there is a problem. So if you haven't heard from us, sit tight - your copies are on the way!

The copying services page has more information on what we offer, including fees for this service.

 

A small number of probates from early 2017 are in the collection - you can search for the records on PROV’s index to wills and probate.

Otherwise, these records can be requested from the Supreme Court.

 

You can download for free a copy of the shipping or passenger list from Ancestry on the computers in our public reading room and then print it out.

Coastal lists are on FindMyPast and Outwards lists are not digitised at all and must be ordered physically into the reading room.

  • Please note! You need to order your records before they can be copied.
  • Once you’ve found the records on PROV’s topic page on inquests, you will be prompted to login to the catalogue (or create an account) and then order the item. 
  • Write down the citation details (Series id and item number) 
  • Submit a 'Request a record to be copied' form.

Password Reset Form – Request a password reset or to obtain your UserID.

If you are from a Government agency please contact us directly via recordsissuesoffice@prov.vic.gov.au

The Public Works Department (VA 669) was responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of Victorian Government buildings such as schools, mental hospitals, government offices and other public buildings. PROV holds the plans created by the Public Works Department and its successor agency, the Building Services Agency (BSA). The drawings date from 1853 to 1998 and are a valuable resource for researching a range of properties in Victoria.

Next steps: As the plans are not available to view online, you will need to order the relevant plan and view at the Victorian Archives Centre Reading Room.

Step 1. Find the  the record(s) on the topic page Public Works Department plans

Step 2. You will be directed to the catalogue to order, or you will be directed to a copy of the plans on the microfilm listings page.

Note: If you would like to order many copies at once, the fastest method is to search on the microfilm listings page here. 

 

You can provide feedback via our quarterly visitor satisfaction survey. These survey results help us improve our services in the Reading Room and online. The survey only takes five minutes to complete. Fill out the survey.

Enter the person’s name into PROV’s index to coronial investigations conducted by the Melbourne Coroner. They are also referred to as Body Cards.

I'm from a government agency

Have you looked at our A-Z of recordkeeping topics?

Have you referred to our Transferring records to PROV or How long should records be kept pages?

Have you searched for PROV Standards and Retention and Disposal Authorities in our Document Library?

If you can’t find the information you require on our website please contact us via our online enquiry form.

Please send us your feedback via our online enquiry form.

Also see our Service Charter which sets out our service standards and time frames and our complaints management process.

 

Have you read our guide on ordering and collecting government records?

If you can’t find the information you require please contact our Records Issues Office at recordsissuesoffice@prov.vic.gov.au.

You can keep up to date with the latest PROV government recordkeeping news by:

PROV also regularly hosts a Records Management Network (RMN) forum event for records professionals across the Victorian Public Sector.

Subscribe to the RMN mailing list here.

I'd like to volunteer

Everything you need to know about our volunteer program can be found here: https://prov.vic.gov.au/about-us/i-want-volunteer

I have a media inquiry

Journalists please contact Tara Oldfield at media@prov.vic.gov.au or on 0418 698 364.

Reading Rooms in Victoria

See the address, a map and public transport directions to our Reading Room in North Melbourne via this link or for other regional offices look to the bottom of this page.  Free parking is available. 

Researchers who have ordered records can make photographic copies of those records using their own digital cameras or our cameras accessible in the Reading Room. Information on copyright for researchers can be found here.  

Note: The use of personal equipment such as USB drives and external hard disk drives on IT systems and resources (including computers, digital cameras and scanners) provided for public use in the Reading Room is undertaken entirely at the user’s own risk. PROV does not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage or data corruption incurred as a result of the use of its IT systems or resources.

Media producers who wish to take photos of the Reading Room as a whole, or film in the space, must contact our communications team via media@prov.vic.gov.au outlining their photography/filming request. Note: we don't allow shoots during Reading Room hours as this would disturb researchers who may not want to be photographed/filmed. However out of hours arrangements can be made to accommodate most requests. 

At the bottom of our Contact us page you will find the opening hours for our North Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo Reading Rooms. Visit the webpages of the Geelong Heritage Centre and Beechworth’s Robert O'Hara Burke Museum for details on accessing public records at their Reading Rooms.

Due to COVID-19, we have made temporary changes to our Reading Room services, see here for more information.

When you visit one of our Reading Rooms you will be asked to sign in and place your belongings in a locker (secure lockers are available at our reading rooms)

  • The following items can be brought into the reading room; pencils, loose leaf paper,  laptops, cameras. 
  • The following are not permitted in the reading room: pens, folders, clipboards or plastic sleeves, bags, containers of any kind, food or drink.

Copyright and publication of public records

If you wish to publish a public record that is copyright protected, either in hardcopy (e.g. a book) or digital format (including online), then permission must be sought from the copyright owner/s.

Due to the age of the collection, the copyright protection period has expired in much of this material. Be aware however, that files may contain copyright material which is either administered by other government agencies or is privately owned. It is your ultimate responsibility to determine the current copyright status of collection material.

Public Record Office Victoria can grant permission to publish Crown copyright material. To seek permission by PROV to publish records, please submit a Request for permission to re-use a record. You must include details about the citation of each record you want to publish (series, unit and item) and as best you can identify the government authority (department, statutory authority etc) who created the record. You will be informed if PROV cannot grant permission because the records are not Crown copyright. However PROV cannot undertake to find copyright owners on your behalf.

For further information about copyright and our collection see Copyright for researchers.

If you wish to publish, exhibit or provide references to  records in our collection, there are specific ways to reference the citation of the record. Please ensure accurate citations of public records are used in all publication. Here is how to write them.

Copyright law applies to Aboriginal records in the same way as other records in the collection. However due to the possible personal and cultural content contained within the records relating to Aboriginal people, researchers should make reasonable efforts, and act in good faith to ensure that any disclosure of information or images contained in these records is consistent with the sensitivities and views of relevant Aboriginal individuals and communities.
For further information please contact the Koorie Records Unit.

 

If you'd like to borrow items from PROV's collection to put on display in an exhibition, the first step is to send us an expression of interest  to recordsissuesoffice@prov.vic.gov.au - and include the dates of the exhibition, the location and the items you'd like to borrow. We'll get in touch with you to start the process of making a formal application to borrow the records. To learn more about that process go to our page on exhibition loans

General enquiries, complaints or feedback

We aim to deliver services to the public based on our service charter.

If you have a question, complaint or would like to provide us with your feedback, please email us your enquiry using this online contact form before contacting us by phone.

T:  +61 3 9348 5600

F:  +61 3 9348 5656

P: PO Box 2100, North Melbourne, VIC 3051

The hearing and speech impaired can reach us through the National Relay Service relayservice.com.au

TTY users: 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 657 452.

Speak and Listen users: 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 657 452.

Internet relay users: www.iprelay.com.au/call/index.aspx then ask for 1900 657 452.

Visit our Reading Rooms

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) has Reading Room locations at North Melbourne and Ballarat, and we support regional archives which hold public records - in particular at Bendigo and Geelong. In most cases it may be faster to visit a local Reading Room and ask our staff for assistance in researching our online catalogue and retrieving physical records to view.

Victorian Archives Centre
99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne

Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays): 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm (via booking only).

Public Transport Directions

Information on building accessibility can be found here. Find upcoming events here.

NOTE: THE VICTORIAN ARCHIVES CENTRE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED. MORE INFO HERE.

Ballarat Archives Centre

The Ballarat Archives Centre has moved! We are now located at the Eureka Centre, 102 Stawell Street South, Ballarat Central

 

 

 

Bendigo Regional Archives Centre
1st Floor Bendigo Library
251-259 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo

 

 

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre
51 Little Malop Street, Geelong

Closed on public holidays. 

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