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Agency VA 3123
Royal Zoological and Acclimatisation Society
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Date Range: 1857 - Circa 1950
 
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
Establishment of the Royal Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria and the Melbourne Zoological Gardens

In October 1857 the Zoological Society of Victoria was formed with the aim of the introduction and acclimatisation of animals, birds, fishes, and plants, both useful and ornamental. The Melbourne Zoological Gardens were the first to be established in Australia. The first collections were housed in the Richmond Paddock opposite the Melbourne Botanic Garden. In 1861 the title was changed to the "Acclimatisation Society of Victoria", in 1870 to the "Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria", the prefix "Royal" being added in 1910. The animals were transferred to the present site in Royal Park in 1862. Although acclimatisation was one of the objects during the first decade at Royal Park, the efforts of the Society were gradually directed towards developing the Gardens and acquiring animals for exhibition purposes.

Establishment of the Zoological Board of Victoria and disbandment of the Society

The Royal Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria controlled the Zoological Gardens until 1937 when financial difficulties were encountered and the Society requested the Victorian Government to assume responsibility for the Zoological Gardens and its extensive collections. As a result the Zoological Gardens Act 1936 appointed the Zoological Board of Victoria, a statutory body, on which the society was represented until its final disbandment in the 1950s.

Location of Records

For records of this agency see list of series below. See also List of Holdings 1985, section 3.6.2.
 
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Record series created by this AgencyRecord series created by this Agency
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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
? 1862 - ? 1909 Letter Books Outwards VPRS 2225 North Melbourne Open
1858 - ? 1950 Minute Books VPRS 2223 North Melbourne Open
1861 - ? 1867 Cash Books VPRS 3422 North Melbourne Open
Functions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
1861 - 1937 Zoos VF 180
Functions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibility
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1857 - 1950 Not Otherwise Classified VRG 6
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