Series VPRS 5397
General Correspondence Files, Multiple Number System
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1965 - 1974
  Series in Custody 1968 - 1969
  Contents 1968 - 1969
Public Access: 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
1965 - 1974 Local Government Department VA 601
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1992 - 1996 Department of Planning and Development VA 3094
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    How to Use this Series

    To find the file containing the correspondence you require, consult the List of Authorised Subject Headings VPRS 8814.

    Files can be searched for in either of two ways.

    The Municipal System

    If it is a matter concerning a municipality select the appropriate number in the "municipalities" section of the List of Authorised Headings. This number is the first part of the three part file number. Then turn to the alphabetical listing of subject classifications and determine the code for the subject matter to which the correspondence relates. This will be the second part of the file number. There are no records held by the Public Record Office which enable to third part of the number to be determined. Researchers should examine all files listed with that subject classification to determine which file(s) are relevant.

    The General System

    If the matter does not directly concern a particular municipality the correspondence has probably been filed according to the general system. Refer to the alphabetical listing of subject classifications for the General System in VPRS 8814 to determine the code for the subject matter to which the correspondence relates. This will be the first part of the file number. As with the Municipal system there are no records held by the Public Record Office which enable the second part of the file number to be determined. Researchers should examine all files listed in the subject classification to determine which file(s) are relevant.

    When the appropriate file numbers have been selected, check the Records Description Lists for all consignments to determine which units contain relevant files. Unfortunately the Records Description List of the P2 consignment is range listed so there is no way of telling if the file number searched for will be included.

    Function/Contents

    This series consists of the correspondence of the Local Government Department registered using a subject classified multiple number system. Amongst the responsibilities of this Department was the examination and review of municipal boundaries, the review and amendment of legislation affecting local government including weights and measures or land valuations. It was also responsible for the allocation of funds to local government authorities and had an oversight role in relation to the building control activities of local councils.

    System of Arrangement/Control

    The correspondence in this system was controlled using a subject classified multiple number system in which file numbers were determined by a List of Authorised Headings (VPRS 8814).

    The multiple number system was composed of a hierarchy of primary, secondary and tertiary classifications (subject headings) with corresponding numbers, from which file titles and file numbers were to be derived.

    When an item of correspondence was received it was assessed to see if it related to a matter for which a file had already been raised. It is likely that this recordkeeping system also contained a record in which all files already raised under each authorised classification were listed. If a relevant file already existed for the particular piece of correspondence it was filed accordingly. If not, a new file was created and registered through the allocation of the appropriate classification numbers. The file number is not evident on this first piece of inward correspondence but appears on the reply and all subsequent letters.

    Classification numbers were allocated to represent two related but distinct systems of file classification within the multiple number system:

    The Municipal System

    The file number allocated for municipal files consisted of three sections. The first three digits (from 101 to 399) indicated the municipality from which correspondence was received. The next three digits referred to the subject matter of the file. The final digits were allocated consecutively, usually to indicate file titles representing particular transactions or locations.

    For example: 202.281.2 is
    Shire of Hampden / Application for Subsidy for Drainage / Terang East

    If another application for drainage subsidy was received from the Shire of Hampden but for a different location this would be recorded using the next consecutive number eg. 202.281.3.

    The General System

    Correspondence that did not specifically relate to municipalities was filed under the general system. This used a two part numbering sequence comprising a three digit number allocated to the subject classification and a consecutive number representing a particular transaction.

    eg. 807.18
    Weights & Measures. Audit Inspections W & M Branch

    In this example the primary category heading is WEIGHTS AND MEASURES and the specific file title is "Audit Inspections W & M Branch". The 18 denotes that this is the 18th file created in the Weights and Measures category. A list of primary categories used can be found in the list of Authorised Subject Headings VPRS 8814.

    On the file cover the primary heading is written and next to it separated by a dash (-) is the specific file title.

    Previous and Subsequent Correspondence Series

    During 1965 the Local Government Department changed its filing system from an annual single number system (VPRS 384) to a multiple number system. It used this system until 1974 when it reverted to annual single number system (VPRS 8318).

    Contents Date Range

    Within any file, correspondence may range over a period of years as previous correspondence on the same matter, including some initially registered within the previous annual single number system (VPRS 384), may been filed under the most recent registration number (top numbered). It is also evident that documents were added to the files in this series after the introduction of the new correspondence system in 1979. Consequently the contents of the files may predate and postdate the series date range.

    Consignments

    This correspondence was originally transferred in two consignments only a few months apart. The reason for the division is not apparent as files concerning a particular municipality may be found in either consignment. It is possible the files were stored in different locations prior to transfer.

    Researchers should also note that the third consignment (P3) was created after the records had been transferred. These records contain files regarding individuals and have been closed under Section 9 of the Public Records Act 1973.

    The smaller consignment (P2) contains mostly municipal files. The larger consignment (P1) while containing some files regarding specific municipalities mainly consists of general administrative correspondence.


    File Notes

    In the authority file is an itemised records description list for P2. This is much easier to understand and will be more useful to users, but it should be noted that the final two boxes (249 and 250) do not appear on the list in the authority file.

    The records description list for the main consignment (P1) shows that the entire consignment of files was not kept in sequential order. It is possible that the files have come from different locations.

    Numbers begin at 101.103.1 (Box 1) and continue until 814.1 (Box 327). Within this boxes 294 and 301 appear out of sequence and mixed in themselves. Box328 also contains a mixture of files while Box 329 begins with 144.120.166. The contents of boxes 329 to 396 are in sequence but in Box 397 the sequence of numbers again becomes erratic. This continues until the end of the listing.

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1965 - 1974 List of Authorised Subject Headings, Multiple Number System VPRS 8814
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1965 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System I (Roads and Bridges Branch 1877-c1888; Local Government Branch c1888-1958) VPRS 384
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1969 Town Planning Appeals Files [Sample Only Retained] VPRS 4068
1969 - 1974 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System II VPRS 8318
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
P0001 1968 - 1969 Open 0
R0001 - Open 485
R0002 - Open 250
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1965 - 1974 List of Authorised Subject Headings, Multiple Number System VPRS 8814
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