Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) holds the archives of the State Government of Victoria and is located within the Victorian Archives Centre. Since it was established 40 years ago, this unique collection has grown to almost 100 kms of records spanning the mid 1830s to today. The collection is a treasure trove of memories, events and decisions that have shaped the Colony and State of Victoria:
- Records of immigration, settlement, land use and ownership, education, courts, prisons, hospitals, asylums and many other significant events and places in the lives of Victorians. These records are included in the archive alongside those documenting the decisions, business and activities of government.
- Photographs, plans, sketches and drawings portray the state’s environment and institutions, and the collection includes an extensive collection of images, captured for decades, by the large state utility companies.
- A significant amount of digitised material is available online. Physical records generally require pre-ordering and can be accessed through our main reading room in North Melbourne and smaller reading rooms in Ballarat, Bendigo, Beechworth and Geelong.
Online resources and physical exhibitions are regularly used in collaboration with the cultural/education sectors and contribute to Victorian educational curricula and objectives, research goals, and public service outreach.
Public Record Office Victoria attracts researchers spanning the humanities, physical sciences, performing arts, legal studies and journalism, as well as individuals or group specifically interested in how Victoria has been shaped by interactions between the public and the government since the mid 1830s. It also offers researchers insights into the evidentiary value of primary records and how those records have been managed over time by successive agencies.
Collections exposed through RDA, cover a broad range of subject areas including: Aboriginal Victorians, Adoptions & Wardship, Buildings & Land, Cemeteries, Court Cases, Divorce, Education & Teachers, Family History, Historical Images, Inquests, Mental Health, Prisoners & Convicts, Ships & Shipping, Trams & Railways, and Wills & Probate.