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The term ‘archives’ can have a number of different meanings. 

i. The organisation that holds historical records. For example, the local historical society, local studies collection at the library

ii. The place – the building, room or storage area where archives is kept or stored.

iii. Records that are appraised as having continuing value due to the information they contain or their value as evidence of an event or transaction.

iv. Records that are no longer required for current use that have been selected for indefinite retention.


Types of archival material

An archive can be made up of many types of records.  These may include:

• typed and handwritten letters & documents

• certificates

• printed material – cuttings, brochures, reports and newsletters

• maps & plans

• photographs

• motion picture – film & video

• sound recordings – records, audio cassettes, digital recordings (e.g. MP3s)

• CDs & DVDs.


Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples