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Issue #2/2014
March 2014

Public Record Office Despatch

Dig the Archives at our Open Day

Save the date for Victorian Archive Centre's Open Day

On Saturday 17 May we are opening our doors and inviting you to Dig the Archives at the Victorian Archives Centre.

Dig the Archives is an open day with a difference. You will get the opportunity to explore the collections of Public Record Office Victoria and the National Archives of Australia through a series of guided tours. On tour you will uncover hidden treasures of the archives, including records exposing our criminal past, maps of towns and cities gone by and some quirky items that will keep you guessing!
We will also be offering workshops and talks that will equip you with all the skills and knowledge you need to start your next research project including researching your property, your family or even learning how to care for your family treasures.
So save the date as we can’t wait to Dig the Archives with you!

Victorian Archives Centre
99 Shiel Street
North Melbourne

Sat 17 May
10am - 4pm

Burning Land: Victoria and bushfires

Following the devastating bush fires this year and in the shadow of the ‘Black Saturday’ fires of 2009 that claimed 173 lives, staff member Phoebe Wilkens has searched the archives to put together a history of bushfires in Victoria.
Phoebe’s research has uncovered many stories relating to bushfires including the ‘Black Sunday’ fires of 13 January 1939 that claimed 71 lives and the fires of1969 which devastated the small town of Lara claiming 49 lives.
Phoebe touches on some of the more personal experiences found in records within the archives. The story of Sarah Lugg and her lifelong friend Bridget Connelly is particularly moving.
Read about Phoebe’s discovery here:

Trams: Moving Pictures

Trams: Moving Pictures is on the move and its first stop is the Victorian Archives Centre!

Following a popular run at the Old Treasury Building, Trams: Moving Pictures is on the move and its first stop is the Victorian Archives Centre.
Trams: Moving Pictures will take you on a journey from horse drawn and cable trams, through to more current incarnations of this iconic Melburnian mode of transport.

Those with an arty eye will love the images of ‘art trams’ painted by Howard Arkley, Mirka Mora, Clifton Pugh, Lin Onus and Michael Leunig as part of the ‘Transporting Art Project’.

You’ll also get the opportunity to view rare images and memorabilia on loan from the Old Treasury Building as well as tram treasures from our own collection.
Trams: Moving Pictures is on display until April 2014 at the Victorian Archive Centre.
Entry is free.

All that Jazz – new role for Victorian Jazz Archive

The Victorian Jazz Archive will be playing a new tune following the announcement by Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria MP that it will be appointed to Public Record Office Victoria’s Places of Deposit Network.
Joining the Victorian Jazz Archive as a Place of Deposit will be the Steiglitz Historical Society and the Genealogical Society of Victoria.
Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria MP visited the Victorian Jazz Archive on Friday to share the news and said the appointment highlights its role as keeper of important items that preserve, promote and celebrate the history of jazz in Australia.
The Places of Deposit network is made up of community facilities that store and preserve public records of local significance. There are now more than 150 facilities across regional and metropolitan Victoria that have been appointed to the network. .
For further information on the Places of Deposit network visit

Parliament House Open Day

Make sure you visit us at Parliament House Open Day

We’re excited to announce that Public Record Office Victoria will be participating in Parliament House Open Day on Sunday 23 March from 10.30am – 3.30pm.
Parliament House Open Day is an opportunity for all Victorians and visitors to the State to see inside the historic Parliament House, one of Melbourne's best-known land marks and the home of the Parliament of Victoria.
Visitors can go on a self guided tour through the building, followed by a stroll through the magnificent Parliamentary Gardens where there is also entertainment. Entry is free.

Visit for more information.

Get your Guidebook!

Want to research our collection but don’t know where to start? Our new Guidebook is your fist stop on your journey through the archives. Guidebook is packed full of tips and tricks which will help get you started on your next research project.
You’ll also learn about upcoming events, tours and information sessions that you can get involved in!
To request a copy of our Guidebook email

IPAA Recognises Public Record Office Victoria

Public Record Office Victoria was recognised as a finalist in the category of Leading the Way Health, Safety and Wellbeing at the IPAA Leadership Awards which were held at Parliament House, Queens Hall on 17 February.
Congratulations to all staff involved.

What's On in March - April?

3 Mar
Discover crime, law and punishment in this specially designed tour of the archives
6 Mar
Seminar: Women in the Archives
8 Mar
Victorian Archives Centre – Saturday opening
10 Mar
Victorian Archives Centre – closed for Labour Day
15 Mar
Streets of Melbourne Walking Tour: La Trobe Street
Streets of Melbourne walking tour booking:

23 Mar
Parliament House Open Day
29 Mar
Victorian Archives Centre – Saturday opening

For bookings visit:

2 Apr
Tour of the Archives
Intro to PROV Online Catalogue

4 Apr
Nominations for the Sir Rupert Hamer Awards close
12 Apr
Victorian Archives Centre – Saturday opening
14 Apr
Tour of the Archives
Digging Deeper
18 Apr
Closed for Good Friday
21 Apr
Closed for Easter Monday

23 Apr
National Trust Heritage Festival
Journey Through the Archives

25 Apr
Closed for ANZAC Day
26 Apr
Victorian Archives Centre – Saturday opening
Journey Through the Archives

30 Apr
National Trust Heritage Festival
Journey Through the Archives

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