Saturday, 31 May 2014

Education records part 1

I recently attended a workshop at the Public Record Office of Victoria providing an overview of the education records held at the PROV.

The records tend to fall into four categories:
  • general administration
  • teachers & schools
  • buildings
  • information from the former Education History Unit
Public Records Act 1973
Some of the records are closed if they are of a private or personal nature - closure may be for 50, 75 or 99 years - but most records can be accessed.

Two sets of numbers used:
  • VA Victorian Agency
  • VPRS Victorian Public Record Series
A brief history of the development of education in Victoria was provided in relation to available records and examples of some record series were provided.

Pre 1848 there was no government control of education however some aid may have been made available to schools.

VPRS 19: 1839-1951 inward correspondence received by the government. There is an index and some items of correspondence have been digitised

VA 703 Denominational Schools Board was established 1848-1863

VA 920 Board of National Education

VA 919 National Schools Board

VA 713 1862-1873 Board of Education established

VA 714 1873 establishment of the Education Department (now Department of education and Training)

Searching collection using the VA or VPRS number
  • Go to Access the Collection
  • Select Find by Number
  • Select the VA (agency) or VPRS (series) button
  • Type in the number
The Records tab provides a list of series titles is then provided which can be further investigated

From 1873 the information can be more detailed. There may be separate series for different functions. Memoranda & Circulars of the Education department are available from 1873-2001.

There are two types of school records:
  • those created by the School
  • those created by the Education Department
VPRS 640 Central Inward Primary Schools Correspondence 1872-1962
Until about 1920 files for each school kept together - after that information was chronological
Sometimes more than one school may be mentioned in a file particularly when there were part-time schools.

The PROV does not have records from all schools. Schools that are still operating may have some or all of their records at the school.

The PROV was established in 1973. Prior to that a unit at the State Library of Victoria held some government records. As records did not have to be kept prior to 1973 some records may not have survived.

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