|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment and Functions
The Public Record Office was established under the provisions of the Public Records Act 1973, proclaimed on 17 April 1973. The Office assumed functions previously administered by the Archives Division of the State Library (VA 2923). The Office was transferred from the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475) to the Department of Property and Services (VA 430) in 1978. Following the abolition of the Department of Property and Services (VA 430) in 1991, the Public Record Office was transferred to the Ministry for the Arts (VA 1025).
Following significant machinery of government changes following the election of the Kennett Government in October 1992, the Ministry for the Arts (VA 1025) was abolished. Under Administrative Arrangements Order No. 114 (published in the Victorian Government Gazette no. S 53, 9 October 1992), the Public Record Office was transferred to the newly created Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism (VA 3095).
The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism was abolished following the re-election of the Kennett Government in April 1996. Under Administrative Arrangements Order No.150, effective 3 April 1996, most of the arts functions of the Department, including public records, were transferred to the Department of Premier and Cabinet (VA 1039). While the Public Record Office transferred departments, it continued to report to the Minister for Arts.
Following machinery of government changes after the re-election of the Bracks Government in December 2002, the Public Record Office was transferred to the Department for Victorian Communities (VA 4562). The Minister for Victorian Communities was assigned the Public Records Act 1973. This change was published as part of Administrative Arrangements Order No. 183 in the Victorian Government Gazette No. S 252, 30 December 2002.
In December 2006, following the re-election of the Bracks Government, the Public Record Office was transferred back into the Department of Premier and Cabinet (VA 1039) under Administrative Arrangements Order no. 192. Responsibility for the Public Records Act 1973 was assigned to the Minister for the Arts. These changes were published in the Victorian Government Gazette No. S 317, 5 December 2006.
The Public Record Office is the State's archives authority. It regulates the disposal and management of the records of government departments and authorities, the State's courts, municipalities, public schools, public hospitals and other public offices falling within the ambit of the Public Records Act 1973. It identifies records worthy of preservation as the archives of the State and makes arrangements for their preservation in perpetuity. It takes custody of records no longer required for current administrative purposes and provides access to records released for public inspection.
Microfilming Program of the Public Record Office
The Public Record Office also undertakes microfilming of archival records in its custody most often accessed by researchers and records in poor condition.
Series which have been microfilmed are attributed to both the Public Record Office and the agency which recorded the original hardcopy records. The title of the microfilmed record series also refers researchers to the original hardcopy series.
Location of Records
See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 3.18.6 (Public Record Office and Archives Division records) and 3.18.7 (Public Record Office Microfilming Program).