The Ballarat Mining District was one of six mining districts established by the Governor-in-Council on 4 January 1858 under the provisions of An Act for Amending the Laws Relating to the Goldfields (21 Vic.,No.32).
The District was divided at that time into six divisions: Ballarat, Buninyong, Creswick, Smythes Creek, Blackwood and Steiglitz. The boundaries of each of these divisions and of the whole district are described in the Governor-in-Council's proclamation printed in the Government Gazette, 5 January 1858, pages 3-5.
The number, boundaries and names of the divisions and subdivisions within the Ballarat District changed several times throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Annual reports of the Mines Department and reports of the Goldfields Commissioners show that by 1890 there were ten divisions within the district and that the number fell to six by 1917, and increased to eight by 1934.
Over time the role of Mining Districts diminished as the administration of mining became more centralised. In 1975 the remaining functions of the Ballarat Mining District were transferred, along with those of all other districts, to the centralised control of the Mines Department.
For further information about the operations of mining districts and the functions of district officials see the Inventory of Agencies for VRG 25 Mining Districts.
Location of Records
In addition to those records listed below, see List of Holdings second edition, 1985, section 9.0.0. and section 4.0.0.
Ballarat District Court of Mines Records
Records attributed to the Ballarat Mining District include records created by district officials such as Registrars and Wardens. A Court of Mines also operated in each District. Although each District had only one Court of Mines, that court may have sat at several localities within the District at various times. Records of the Ballarat District Court of Mines have been determined to be court records rather than administrative records of the mining district. Accordingly they have been attributed to the local courts at which the Ballarat District Court of Mines sat.