August 2019

Digital Transition topic page

Recordkeeping for Government

Most Victorian Government agencies are planning, or actively working towards, becoming fully digital. Moving to a fully digital workplace reduces costs and inefficiencies associated with managing records in both paper and electronic formats simultaneously, especially those associated with storing and accessing paper records.

To assist agencies with planning digital transition projects, PROV has developed a Digital Transition Map. This map shows you where to go on PROV’s website in order to find relevant information about digital transition.

The map presents two main digital transition processes:

1. Ensuring that born digital records are managed digitally
2. Actively reducing the number of hardcopy records managed.

You can find the topic page, and the map on the PROV website here.

Standards Review

Recordkeeping for Government

Keep an eye out for the redeveloped standards and specifications which will be published on our website shortly. These will specify principles and requirements for the areas of Access, Strategic Management, Operational Management and Create, Capture and Control. Victorian Electronic Record Strategy (VERS) Principles and Requirements will be included in the Create, Capture and Control Standard.

The principles and requirements will be set out in the standard covering that area. Some standards will have associated specifications setting out more detailed technical requirements.

The Storage Standard and Disposal Standard and associated specifications have not yet been reviewed so remain in their current form. The Storage Standard and Specifications will be reviewed next.

If you are interested in being involved in the Storage Standard review please contact

E-learning Module 

Recordkeeping for Government

We are in the process of redeveloping our e-learning module to bring it up to date with current standards and legislation. We are hoping to have the new module up and running within the next couple of months.

The previous module has been removed from our website as the contract with the developer and host expired. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you would like any further information about this, please contact

Records of Organisational Response to Child Sexual Abuse

New Retention and Disposal Authority

The PROV Appraisal and Documentation Team has released a new Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA) for Records of Organisational Response to Child Sexual Abuse Incidents and Allegations. This RDA has been developed based on recommendations in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse 2017.

This RDA covers records concerning allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse. It includes reporting, inquiring and investigation of allegations, as well as the provision of support and redress to individuals. It also includes the development, implementation and review of organisational policy and guidelines in relation to the prevention, identification, and response to child sexual abuse incidents and allegations. This includes records of this nature created through an agency’s reporting, oversight or regulatory relationships with other agencies.

More information on the PROV website here.

Environment Protection Functions RDA

Feedback requested

The PROV Appraisal and Documentation Team invites stakeholders to review a new draft Retention and Disposal Authority for records of Environment Protection Functions.

The aim of the RDA, once issued as a Standard, is to specify records required as State Archives and to provide for the lawful disposal of records not required permanently after specified periods.

This RDA will apply to the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and cover records related to environment protection functions and other unique supporting functions and activities administered by the EPA.

We would appreciate feedback on the following:
•Are the retention periods reasonable?
•Is the language used in the RDA clear enough?
•Can you identify any gaps in the RDA coverage?

Please provide any feedback to by COB Friday 16 August 2019.

More information including the draft RDA and other documentation is on the PROV website here.

Map Warper project

Archival snapshot

PROV has an impressive collection of historic maps and plans. The Regional Land Office Parish and Township Plans are a particularly rich source of information on Victoria in the nineteenth century, however, finding what you need within this collection has always been challenging because these maps aren’t titled by any towns or suburbs you might recognise, instead they’re named and catalogued under their original Parish names.

The newly released Map Warper tool makes it possible to search for old plans using current place names, and even view them overlaid in 3D on their exact locations in Google Earth. Anyone can use the online software to select a plan and add in the map points that enable it to be searchable in the contemporary world.

Have a look at the PROV Map Warper website for more information or to have a go.

Quinlan's lost history - a story from Kew Asylum

Archival snapshot

British impresario Thomas Quinlan was well-known in the 1910s for bringing ambitious, large-scale opera productions to the colonies. He formed the Quinlan Opera Company in 1911, with the dream that music fans across the UK, Canada, South Africa and Australia would be able to experience the kind of grand operas that were previously only performed at Covent Garden.

The company toured the world, staging hugely successful orchestral and choral shows until their 1922 Australian tour by the Sistine Chapel Choir turned out to be a financial failure. What happened to Quinlan after this disastrous last tour?

The only information Wikipedia has on Quinlan after this date is that he was divorced from his wife Dora in 1926 and then died in 1951. To discover more, you need to dig a little deeper, as the answer lies in a place you wouldn’t expect - the hand written clinical notes from Melbourne’s Kew Asylum.

Read more about Thomas Quinlan's life on the PROV website here.

Upcoming Events

What's on the horizon

Friday 23 August, 1:00pm-2:00pm
Victorian Archives Centre
Using Inquests for Family and Local History: 
Guidance into using inquests as sources of social history, exploring how they can inform us about individual life stories. Note: The content of some of the records discussed may be upsetting.
Bookings and info on the PROV website here.

Thursday 5 September, 1:00pm-2:00pm
Victorian Archives Centre
Madame Brussels' Melbourne:
Archaeologist Sarah Hayes and historian Barbara Minchinton discuss their research on Little Lon, Melbourne’s sex work precinct of the 19th century. Utilising archives and artefacts, they share what is known about its brothels, sex workers and the elusive Madame Brussels. More information on the Melbourne Writer's Festival website here.


Saturday 10 August, 10.00am-4:30pm
Victorian Archives Centre
Saturday Opening

Saturday 31 August, 10.00am-4:30pm
Victorian Archives Centre
Saturday Opening

Saturday 14 September, 10.00am-4:30pm
Victorian Archives Centre
Saturday Opening

Saturday 28 September, 10.00am-4:30pm
Victorian Archives Centre
Saturday Opening

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