Public Records Office Victoria

I visited Public Records Office Victoria today (more affectionately known as ‘prov’). It is more beautiful and modern than what I thought an archive site would look like, and it’s got a wonderfully lit reading room (with free access to ancestry.com on all its computers).

PROV has over 17 million records and to date has only digitised 1% of its collection. Digitising is a lengthy process and is commonly undertaken by volunteers. It is also getting records at a faster rate than it can digitise them.

Their records include things like:

  • Wills
  • Prison records
  • Health records
  • Rate records
  • Government documents
  • Building plans

Finding things can be a bit tricky. I found an old plan for the Melbourne Town Hall (dated 1849), which is in a collection titled ‘Sydney’. Confusing huh? Turns out the records in this collection are all plans that were once sent to Sydney for approval.

Melbourne Town Hall

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