May 2015

We hope you enjoyed...

Dig the Archives at the Victorian Archives Centre

Dig the Archives is over for another year.

Thank you to our partners, the National Archives of Australia and Ancestry, speakers and staff for helping us to make it a successful event.

If you attended the day and have feedback you'd like to share to help us make 2016's Open Day even better, please feel free to email us at


Historic Photo Competition winner announced

Congratulations to our photo competition winner, Raelene Smith!

Throughout March and April we invited members of the public to send us their own historic photos. The competition unearthed some gems that, until now, have only been seen by the families who own them.

At Dig the Archives on Saturday we were thrilled to announce the winner of the competition, Raelene Smith, with her photo of her grandfather Fred Wurfel, son Stan and friend George, and their truckload of Mallee stumps.

You can check out all the incredible entries on ABC online here and on our Facebook page.

Transporting Art

Now showing at the Victorian Archives Centre foyer gallery

Between 1978 and 1993 the Ministry for the Arts initiated the ‘Transporting Art’ project which asked famous Australian artists to paint Melbourne’s iconic W class trams. Thirty-six artists including Lin Onus, Clifton Pugh, Brett Colquhoun, Michael Leunig, Mirka Mora, Jeffrey Makin and Erica McGilchrist and even pop group ‘Mental as Anything’ were involved.

The exhibition Transporting Art, now showing at the Victorian Archives Centre, gives audiences an opportunity to appreciate the work of some of the artists involved in this innovative project.



Researching Historic Homes

New PROV Guide available

Are you renovating? Do you want to know who lived in your house 100 years ago? Or find out the date your house was originally built? If only walls could talk! Well now they don't have to...

Our handy Historic Homes research guide can help you research your home using our records and many other sources. 

View the guide online here.

True Crime Special...

The story of charming Melbourne con artist Mona Hayes

Last month the Herald Sun online ran the story of Mona Hayes, a woman we found in the S9 file openings earlier this year. While going through boxes of the newly opened files, we first saw Mona Hayes pop up as a petty thief, stealing watches and fur coats from shops across Melbourne. The police described her as an exceptionally clever thief with an engaging personality, people would fall all over themselves to help her.

Then she appears in one more file - and in this one she stands trial for murder.

What drove Mona to murder Albert Sharpe? Read the Herald Sun's article to find out!


Uncover new treasures at Ballarat Archives Centre

Ballarat's growing collection!

    You may be surprised to learn that the Ballarat Archives Centre collection spans records from Karkarook in the far northwest of the state; Horsham in the Wimmera area; Ararat and Stawell in the Grampians area; and all the way to Daylesford, Trentham and Bacchus Marsh in the Central Highlands.

    And the collection continues to grow!

    Here are some of the newly released records now accessible for researchers to order and view in the Ballarat Archives Centre Reading Room.


    Are you having problems opening digitised files?

    Firefox and Chrome browsers are not working like they used to

    If you use Firefox or Chrome, you may have noticed that it’s been difficult to open digitised documents from our website.

    You may have had to wait a lot longer than normal for a file to open, or your files may not have opened at all.

    In this article we explain why this issue is occuring and what you can do to make sure the documents you want to view online open smoothly.



    FREE Training & Other Upcoming Events

    What's coming up at the Victorian Archives Centre this month?

    Saturday 9 May 10am
    Ballarat Heritage Weekend:
    'Round the Block' Property Research

    Ballarat Library
    Doveton Street, N Ballarat

    Tuesday 12 May 11-12pm
    School Days Floor Talk:
    'Building our Schools' with I. Nelsen

    Old Treasury Building
    Melbourne, Spring Street

    Tuesday 20 May 1pm
    School Days Musical Performance:
    VCA Secondary School

    Old Treasury Building
    Melbourne, Spring Street

    Tuesday 26 May 11-12pm
    School Days Floor Talk:
    'Women in Education' with G. King

    Old Treasury Building
    Melbourne, Spring Street

    Note: There are no bookings required for the School Days Floor Talks and Musical Performances at Old Treasury Building.

    Connect with us!


    Saturday 9 May 10am-4.30pm
    Victorian Archives Centre Reading Room
    North Melbourne, 99 Shiel Street
    Open Saturday

    Tuesday 26 May 11-12pm
    Free: Tour of the Archives
    North Melbourne, 99 Shiel Street

    Thursday 26 May 1-2pm
    Free: Researching Education Records
    North Melbourne, 99 Shiel Street

    Saturday 30 May 10am-4.30pm
    Victorian Archives Centre Reading Room
    North Melbourne, 99 Shiel Street
    Open Saturday


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