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Issue #61
July 2012

Public Record Office Despatch

Six million name project now complete

Index of Passenger Lists

Melbourne and Hobson Bay Railway Company Pier, prior to construction of Station Pier, c.1870s. VPRS 12800/P1 unit 32 H1246

Public Record Office Victoria volunteers have finalised the indexing of VPRS 948 Outward Passengers to Interstate, U.K. and Foreign Ports.

This marks the completion of the indexing of all major series of inward and outward passenger lists held by Public Record Office Victoria on microform, and is a great milestone for the Volunteer Program and the organisation.
The indexing of passenger lists has been ongoing at Public Record Office Victoria for twenty-five years; some of the original volunteers who began the project are still working with us! The completed outwards index contains approximately 6 million names and is a resource which is heavily used by our researchers.
Amongst the lists, many famous people have been spotted including, politicians, royalty, actors and actresses, criminals and soldiers embarking for WW1, we have had the lot arrive and leave our ports!
Researchers can expect the last of the data to be available online in the near future. Meanwhile, volunteers have happily moved onto new projects and work challenges, many of which will make researching at Public Record Office Victoria much easier for you.

To access the lists, click here.

Unearth the stories of people from our past through their properties

See what land files can reveal

Letter from Mary requesting the property be in her name despite ‘an opportunity to no longer remain single’.
Did you know that land files are amongst our most popular records at Public Record Office Victoria for family history researchers?
Land files not only hold information on such topics as landownership, they can also provide insight into the personalities and stories of people from our past, particularly when delving into the correspondence between private individuals and land authorities.
To see an example, visit our blog where the story of Mary Ann Brown, a young women from the 1880s whose letters to the Department of Crown Lands and Survey reveal not only details about her properties, but also uncovers much about her independent and determined character.

Make tracks to our Wiki

New look for Public Record Office Victoira online images

Flinders Street Station main entrance, Swanston Street. VPRS 12903/P1 Box 171/08
During July we will be moving our collection of Public Transport Corporation and Melbourne 1956 Olympics digitised images from their current place on our website to the PROV Wiki.
Those who have accessed the images may have noticed that the captions attached to the images are in most cases brief. These were often created at the time by a photographer scribbling notes while rushing to photograph the next frame. The new Wiki page will make it easier for comments and changes to be attached to the images, offering a more contextual environment in which to view the images.
The search engine used to find images will not change. After the images are migrated to the Wiki, you can still use our searches for Photographic negatives from the 1956 Melbourne Olympics Photograph Collection and Public Transport Corporation: Photographic Collection of Railway Negatives to look through and find images.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries about this upcoming change by emailing

Victorian Community History Awards

Entries closing soon

The annual Victorian Community History Awards recognise excellence in historical research with the aim of enriching Victorians through stories of their State’s history.
Categories cover a variety of history-telling formats including publications, collaborations, historical interpretations and multimedia.

A new category for 2012, the Young Historians Award, encourages 15 to 18 year olds to present their work on areas of historical interest.
Entries close Friday 10 August and winners will be announced at an event at the National Gallery of Victoria on Tuesday 23 October 2012.
For more information and to apply, visit

Historical collections make a Footprint in e-publishing

Re-release of popular publication

Cover, Footprints: the Journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper
Footprints: the Journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper is a remarkable story about the strength of a family in the face of adversity based in Gippsland, Victoria during the early 20th century.
The newly released e-book reveals how laws and government policies affected the everyday lives of people who were classified as 'Aboriginal'.
The Peppers’ struggle to keep their extended family together, fight for Australia in World War One, make good on a soldier settlement block and survive ill health and poverty is traced through public archival records from the collections of Public Record Office Victoria and National Archives of Australia, along with photographs and letters from private collections
Footprints is a valuable resource for Aboriginal people who want to connect to their past through archival records. In addition, anyone interested in Aboriginal policy in early twentieth-century Victoria can gain insights on the effects of past legislation and practices on individuals and families.
Footprints: The Journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper is available for $9.95 from

Community Grants and Awards booklet now available

Email to get your free copy

Public Record Office Victoria has developed a Community Grants and Awards booklet showcasing some of the winning entries to the Local History Grants Program and the Victorian Community History Awards. Also included are tips on preparing a grant application.

Email with your postal address if you would like a free copy of this booklet sent to you.

July and August events

What's on at the Victorian Archives Centre and around Victoria

Saturday 14  July
Victorian Archives Centre opening
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

11am Tuesday 17 July
Introduction to our catalogue
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

1pm Friday 20 July
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

2pm Friday 27 July
National Family History Week Launch
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

Saturday 28 July
Victorian Archives Centre - Saturday opening
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

9.30am Monday 30 July
Family History Feast
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne


11am Wednesday 1 August
Finding a Person Workshop
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

2.30pm Wednesday 1 August
Add your Ancestor to the PROV Wiki Workshop
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

Saturday 11 August
Victorian Archives Centre - Saturday opening
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

11am Thursday 16 August
Reading 19th Century Handwriting
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

Saturday 25 August
Victorian Archives Centre - Saturday opening
Victorian Archives Centre, North Melbourne

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