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Issue #66
December 2012

Public Record Office Despatch

Trams: Moving Pictures

Exhibition opens Mon 17 Dec

One of Melbourne’s most famous icons, the tram, will take centre stage in a new exhibition opening this month, exploring the history and style of our favourite mode of transport.
Trams: Moving Pictures will feature historic photographs and footage alongside memorabilia such as conductors’ bags and uniforms.

A highlight of the exhibition will be a series of images of trams that were painted between 1978 and 1993 by a range of contemporary artists.

The Transporting Art Project was funded by the Victorian Ministry for the Arts and a number of sponsors and featured 36 painted W-class trams.

Trams: Moving Pictures is on display at the Old Treasury Building from Monday 17 December 2012 to August 2013. Entry is free. For further information and to view opening hours visit

MIchael Leunig painted tram, Transporting Art Project Collection, Public Record Office Victoria

Melbourne Zoo and You

Celebrating 150 years

In the early 1900s, a trip to Melbourne Zoological Gardens may have involved a ride on Queenie the elephant, throwing peanuts to the bears in the bear pit and watching Mollie the orang-utan smoke a cigarette in her small enclosure!

Nowadays, a visit to Melbourne Zoo could include viewing endangered Asian elephant calves, Mali and Ongard, foraging and roaming in the Trail of the Elephants habitat; viewing baby Dewi in the Orang-utan Sanctuary; listening to a keeper explain the Zoo’s breeding program for the endangered Lord Howe Island stick insect or even enjoying a twilight concert in the grounds.

To celebrate the Melbourne Zoo’s 150th anniversary, Public Record Office Victoria, Melbourne Zoo Archives and the State Library of Victoria have partnered with Culture Victoria to create a series of online stories tracing the Zoo’s history.
To view historic images and read the extraordinary tales, visit Culture Victoria.

VPRS 8850/P1 Unit 48 C032 - Melbourne Zoo - Various Photographs (detail)

Australia's Pleasure Land

Luna Park and other amusements in St Kilda

The 13th of December marks 100 years since the opening of Luna Park in St Kilda.

When Senior Collections Advisor, Charlie Farrugia started researching the collection for records relating to the Victorian icon, he found more than what he bargained for!

Discover what Charlie found on the PROV blog.

2013 Sir Rupert Hamer Awards

Applications open in January

The Sir Rupert Hamer Records Management Awards recognise achievements in good records management practice within Victorian government Agencies and local Community Archives.

The awards have been presented by the Public Records Advisory Council (PRAC) since 1998. They are named after Sir Rupert Hamer, the Premier of Victoria when the Public Records Act was passed in 1973 and when Public Record Office Victoria opened its first office and repository in 1975. Sir Rupert Hamer had an ongoing interest in public records, records management, government accountability and cultural heritage.

The annual Sir Rupert Hamer Awards will be held in May 2013. Entries for the Awards will open in January, so get your projects ready!

Click here for further information and to view previous winners.

December record of the month

Victorian Parliament House

In December 1855, construction began on the Victorian Parliament House. The colonial engineer, Charles Pasley and one of his officers, Peter Kerr designed the building in the Roman Revival style.
The original plans for the Parliament house included a glorious dome, however due to the beginnings of a sharp economic depression in 1891 the dome was never built.

Many major events took place in this building, including the formation of the Federal Parliamentary Australian Labour Party, the "fusion" of the Free Trade Party and the Protectionist Party into the first Liberal Party in 1909 as well as the split in the Labour Party over conscription in 1916.
The Building was completed in stages between 1856 and 1929.
To view more information on Parliament House, visit the PROV wiki.
Lee Hooper, Access Services Officer

VPRS10516/P4 Unit 1 - Original Lithograph of the Victorian Parliament House

What's On

December / January

Sat 8 & 12 Dec
Saturday opening
Victorian Archives Centre
Wed 16 Jan
Intro to PROV Collection & tour

Mon 28 Jan
Closed for Australia Day

Thu 31 Jan
Researching Regional Records
The Victorian Archives Centre will be closed from Monday 24 December, reopening Wednesday 2 January.

The staff at Public Record Office Victoria wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

Click here to view our events calendar.

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