About the Public Record Office Victoria

Who we are

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is Victoria’s state government archive. PROV holds records dating from the mid 1830s, the early period of European settlement of the Port Phillip District, through to today.

What we do

PROV is the custodian of government agency records that relate to government administration, justice, education, Aboriginal people, women’s issues, natural resources, the environment, transport, the arts, and sport – in fact, most aspects of life in Victoria are represented in our collections. There are currently ninety kilometres of records in PROV’s North Melbourne and Ballarat repositories combined, and our holdings are continually growing.

Records in PROV custody are a Victorian asset

The documents – both paper and electronic – that are housed in PROV’s repositories record the people and events that have shaped Victoria’s identity and history. The preservation of these records ensures that this history is, and will continue to be, accessible to all Victorians.

Using PROV records for family history research

Our largest – and perhaps most enthusiastic! – group of researchers are family historians. Here are some of the favourite groups of records used by family historians  working at PROV or accessing our website:

  • Ships’ passenger lists (arrivals in Victoria 1839–1923) searchable index online
  • Wills and probate records (1841–1925) – available online
  • Convict registers (c.1842–54) – available online
  • Parish plans, MMBW plans, and plans of public buildings searchable databases
  • Teacher records, and Victorian Railways staff records searchable databases
  • Prisoner records some records available online

Other PROV resources for the 21st century

  • PROV wiki an interactive site where visitors can add their own information and comments
  • Online education resources for primary and secondary schools
  • Online exhibitions
  • PROVcasts podcasts via the PROV website or YouTube
  • Online publications

Visit us at:

To make an inquiry at the Public Record Office Victoria please use their online inquiry form: http://prov.vic.gov.au/contact-us

Victorian Archives Centre
99 Shiel Street
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
Tel.: (03) 9348 5600 or 1800 657 452 (toll free within Australia)


Bendigo and Ballarat Archives Centres
Level One, State Government Offices
Cnr Doveton and Mair Streets
Ballarat, VIC 3350
Tel.: (03) 9348 5600 or 1800 657 452 (toll free within Australia)