The collection in Melbourne
Our Melbourne collection includes records of Commonwealth departments, statutory bodies, royal commissions, lighthouses, naval vessels, courts and tribunals. These records document a wide variety of Commonwealth government activities, including defence, migration, Aboriginal affairs, trade and veteran's affairs.
Although the records mainly date from Federation, they include a small quantity of 19th century records inherited from the colonies when certain functions, such as customs, postal and telegraphic services, defence and Aboriginal affairs, passed to the Commonwealth. Other notable holdings include meteorological records dating from 1840, records relating to customs dating from 1850s and records relating to the administration of Aboriginal affairs in Victoria from 1860.
The collection in Melbourne is especially rich because the original seat of the Commonwealth government was located there until 1927 and remained a centre for federal government activity until the 1960s. It documents the central offices of many departments of state including the Postmaster-Generals Department and the Departments of Labour and National Service, Civil Aviation and Defence.
Further information about the records collection of Public Record Office Victoria: prov.vic.gov.au