As of 1 January 2017, hundreds of historic records from the Victorian State Government archives have been made public as part of Public Record Office Victoria’s annual opening of officially closed records. The records are of particular interest to family historians waiting on files that mention members of their family tree. These files now open to the public for the first time are available for researchers to order through their catalogue and view in their public Reading Rooms.

Under Section 9 of the Public Records Act 1973 files of a personal or private nature are closed from between 75 to 99 years to prevent the violation of personal privacy. On the 1st of January 2017, another year of files was opened to the public for the first time. Director and Keeper of Public Records, Justine Heazlewood, said this year’s openings may provide researchers with missing pieces of their family history puzzle.

“These newly opened records provide a snapshot into our State’s history. From the capital cases that made headlines in 1941 to divorces of Ballarat – these annual openings provide a new opportunity to discover our past”

Among this year’s openings are Criminal Trial Briefs relating to Pentridge prison escapee Kenneth Raymond Jones, the capital case file of Alfred Bye executed for the murder of Tommy Walker, Divorce Case Files from Melbourne and Ballarat Courts of 1941, Post Mortem Registers from Kew Hospital and Tramway and Victorian Railroads Employee Records.

“There are so many incredible stories to be found in Victoria’s archives. These records of the past now serve to help researchers, academics, writers and historians discover another dimension to years gone by,” said Ms Heazlewood.

The list of newly opened records include:
Criminal Trial Briefs 1941
(VPRS 30 P0000 Units 2928-2974)

Inward Registered Correspondence 1940-1941
(VPRS 266 P0001 Units 35-51)

Divorce Case Files, Melbourne 1940-1941
(VPRS 283 P0002 Units 320-339)

Children’s Court Register 1912-1917
(VPRS 329 P0000 Unit 2)

Central Register of Male Prisoners 1940-1941
(VPRS 515 P0000 Unit 94)

Register of Names, Particulars and Personal Descriptions of Prisoners 1940-1941
(VPRS 521 P0000 Units 76-78)

Index To Register Of Prisoners Received 1939-1941
(VPRS 526 P0000 Units 8 and 10)

Divorce Case Files, Ballarat 1941
(VPRS 552 P0001 Unit 6)

Examination Registers (Technical Subjects) 1985-1986
(VPRS 923 P0003 Units 1-13)

Capital Sentence Files 1941
(VPRS 1100 P0002 Unit 13)

Wages Records 1940-1941
(VPRS 1752 P0000 Units 1-19)

Children’s Court Registers, Richmond Feb 1916-Jun 1917
(VPRS 1792 P0000 Unit 10)

Children’s Court Registers, Prahran Sept 1915-April 1917
(VPRS 1941 P0000 Unit 6)

Children’s Court Register, Berringa 1908-1917
(VPRS 2519 P0000 Unit 1)

Criminal Trial Brief Register II 1941
(VPRS 3524 P0000 Unit 49)

Criminal Trial Brief Register II 1941
(VPRS 3524 P0001 Unit 49)
This is a microfiche copy of the unit above, no need to order it, just come in and view in our North Melb Reading Room.

Master Patient Index Cards 1939/40-1940/41
(VPRS 3848 P0000 Units 110-115)

Ward Registers Nov 1916-Nov 1917
(VPRS 4527 P0000 Units 125-130)

Children’s Court Registers, Stawell 1915-1917
(VPRS 5025 P0000 Unit 2)

Divorce Cause Books Sept 1939-Feb 1941
(VPRS 5334 P0001 Unit 9)

Children’s Court Registers Feb 1916-May 1917
(VPRS 6063 P0001 Unit 11)

Post Mortem Registers, Kew Mental Hospital Jan 1939-Jul 1941
(VPRS 7432 P0001 Unit 19)

Head Attendant’s Daily Report Books Male Department, Kew Mental Hospital 1940-1941
(VPRS 7440 P0002 Unit 13)

Registers of Voluntary Boarders in Hospitals for the Insane 1934-1941
(VPRS 7515 P0001 Unit 2)

Head Nurse’s Daily Report Book – Female Wards, Kew Mental Hospital Nov 1940-Dec 1941
(VPRS 7692 P0001 Unit 22)

Bound Circulated Photographs and Offences of Convicted Persons Dec 1940-Sept 1941
(VPRS 7856 P0001 Units 43-44)

Nursing Report Books – Female, Sunbury Mental Hospital Nov 1940-Nov 1941
(VPRS 8252 P0001 Unit 5)

Admission Warrants – Male, Sunbury Mental Hospital Mar 1939-May 1941
(VPRS 8259 P0001 Unit 21)

Admission Warrants – Female, Sunbury Mental Hospital May 1939-May 1941
(VPRS 8261 P0001 Unit 21)

Presentments, Supreme Court 1941
(VPRS 10008 P0001 Units 52-54)

Children’s Court Registers, Camperdown 1907-Aug 1917
(VPRS 10367 P0000 Unit 1)

Children’s Court Registers, Williamstown June 1916-Oct 1917
(VPRS 10589 P0000 Unit 4)

Children’s Court Registers, Warrnambool June 1916-Jan 1917
(VPRS 10621 P0000 Unit 2)

Children’s Court Registers, Ararat 1907-Nov 1917
(VPRS 10741 P0000 Unit 1)

Personal Description of Prisoners Received Book, Ballarat July 1935-May 1941
(VPRS 10859 P0000 Unit 16)
These records are currently undergoing conservation, check out our video for more information on the process:

Children’s Court Registers, Sale 1907-Feb 1917
(VPRS 11609 P0001 Unit 1)

Children’s Court Registers, Carlton 1908-July 1917
(VPRS 12610 P0001 Unit 1)

Tramway Employees Record Cards 1960-1961
(VPRS 12739 P0001 Units 69-76)

Correspondence with Australian Railway Union 1960-1961
(VPRS 13279 P0001 Unit 7)

Accident Compensation Claim Register, Claims Branch 1960-1961
(VPRS 13531 P0001 Unit 20)

Accident Compensation Claim Book 1959-1961
(VPRS 13536 P0001 Unit 7)

Employment History Sheets, Photographic Division 1920-1961
(VPRS 13997 P0001 Unit 1)

In-Patient Death Registers July 1979-Feb 1986
(VPRS 16817 P0002 Unit 1)

Board Minutes, Physiotherapists Registration Board August 1963-June 1966
(VPRS 16484 P0001 Unit 3)

Board Minutes and Papers, Dental Board Oct 1964-Oct 1966
(VPRS 16503 P0002 Unit 2)

Criminal Presentments and Final Orders, Melbourne Nov 1940-Dec 1941
(VPRS 17020 P0003 Units 8-11)

Register of Pathology Tests, Mont Park Mental Hospital 1933-1941
(VPRS 17704 P0001 Unit 1)

Children’s Court Register, Preston Nov 1913-March 1917
(VPRS 18149 P0001 Unit 2)

For more on these new records head on over to