Series VPRS 251
Registers of Inward Correspondence
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1857 - 1955
  Series in Custody 1857 - 1954
  Contents 1857 - 1954
Public Access: Part Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1857 - 1954 Attorney-General's Department (previously known as the Law Department) VA 2825
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1857 - 1992 Attorney-General's Department (previously known as the Law Department) VA 2825
1992 - cont Department of Justice VA 3085
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Researchers with a specific subject or searching for correspondence from a particular official or person should first consult the Index to Inwards Correspondence (see VPRS 252) for the appropriate year to identify the registration number of the correspondence. Letters from " persons" ie., members of the public were indexed alphabetically by surname and were grouped together at the end of the appropriate alphabetic section within the index.

    Having identified a relevant entry in the index note the correspondence registration number given, for example 57/943. The reference 57/943 would refer to the 943rd letter (and entry) in the register for the year 1857.

    Once the entry for that letter has been located in the register the final filing location (refer to consignment details for VPRS 266) should be identified by tracing any links to subsequent correspondence usually marked in the far right hand column of the registers.

    The correspondence in the series to which this register relates was often top-numbered. This means that subsequent correspondence on a particular subject was married with previous correspondence and filed under the registration number for the subsequent correspondence. When an item of correspondence has been top numbered this can be traced through the register until there is no subsequent correspondence for that subject.

  • Function / Content
    This register was used to record summary details and allocate unique identification numbers (registration numbers) to each letter received. Each inward letter was, on receipt and registration, allocated a number from the registers for identification. This consisted of an annual single number, that is a sequential number prefixed by the last two figures of the year, with the numbering sequence recommencing at 1 at the start of each year.

    eg. the one-hundred and twenty-third letter received in 1857 was given the number 57/123.

    Contents

    The registers record the following details in a column format :
    - registration number,
    - date of letter,
    - date received,
    - author,
    - subject description
    - details regarding referral and return of letter to another agency.
    - registration numbers of previous and subsequent items received on the same subject.

    References to subsequent correspondence should be followed in the register in order to determine the registration number used for filing the letter (usually signified by the notation "filed").

  • Recordkeeping System
    Correspondence received was registered under an annual single number registry system. Under this system, each item received in a year was allocated a progressive number. Thus the first item registered in 1874 would be registered in 74/1, the second 72/2 etc.

    The volumes numbered 1-18, spanning the years 1858-1870, have on their spines Attorney General. Due to an administrative change, the volumes from 1871 have on their spines Crown Law Offices. However, they are the same series.

    From 1871 to 1894, two alternate registers were used for each year. One volume was labelled volume E (an abbreviation for even); the other volume O (abbreviation for odd). Correspondence numbered 1-99 went into Register E, while correspondence numbered 100-199 went into Register O.

    Odd numbers were defined by the third digit (representing the hundreds):
    192, 3954, 57738

    Similarly, Evens:
    (0)27, 297, 2878 87423

    Volumes in the series were arranged chronologically by year. Entries in the volumes pre-1871 and post-1894 were arranged by an annual single numbering system. There were no alternate registers used.

    Subsequent Series

    This series ended in 1955 when it was replaced by a system of subject based registry cards (VPRS 7739). As at September 1992 VPRS 7739 Attachment and Marking Book is still in the custody of the Attorney-General's Department. A separate volume was also created to record information relating to correspondence referred to other bodies and subsequent attached papers (VPRS 7740 Attachment and Marking Book, subsequently replaced by VPRS 7741 Attachment Books and VPRS 7742 Marking Books).

    Date Range

    The series date range for this series has been artificially extended to allow the previous/subsequent relationship details to be entered on the database.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1857 - 1954 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence VPRS 252
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1857 - 1954 Inward Registered Correspondence VPRS 266
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
1856 - 1858 Registry Book VPRS 254
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1955 Attachment and Marking Book to Inward Registered Correspondence VPRS 7740
1955 - 1955 Registry Cards to Inward Correspondence [Records Not Transferred] VPRS 7739
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1858 - 1939 Part Open 146
P0001 1939 - 1954 Open 28
P0002 1857 - 1858 Open 1
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1857 - 1954 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence VPRS 252
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