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Series VPRS 6008
General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number Systems
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1906 - 1995
  Series in Custody 1906 - 1995
  Contents ? 1860 - 2002
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
1928 - 1984 State Rivers and Water Supply Commission VA 723
1984 - 1992 Rural Water Commission VA 2338
1992 - 1995 Rural Water Corporation VA 4234
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1995 - cont Sinclair - Knight Mertz VA 3748
1995 - cont Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Victoria [SMEC Victoria] Pty Ltd VA 3750
1995 - cont Thiess Enviro Services VA 3752
1995 - cont Barwon Region Water Authority VA 3756
1995 - cont Coliban Region Water Authority VA 3996
1996 - 2002 Department of Natural Resources and the Environment VA 3972
2002 - cont Department of Sustainability and Environment VA 4554
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Retrieving records from this series requires a different technique for each period in which records in the series were created or received. There are three discrete periods - 1906 to October 1958, October 1958 to 1987, and 1987 to 1995.

    Note: most correspondence received before 1928 is now in VPRS 3844 General Correspondence Files (Alphabetically Re-arranged Inactive Portion of VPRS 6008, pre 1928 Files), Single Number System. Only a small proportion of pre-1928 correspondence is in VPRS 6008. See the series registration for VPRS 3844 for more information about that series.

    To retrieve correspondence and files from VPRS 6008 follow the steps below.

    1. 1906 (due to top-numbering files registered as 1928 onwards) to October 1958

    1.1 Consult VPRS 6009 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence. Note the correspondence numbers of items of interest.

    1.2 Consult VPRS 6010 Attachment Books (Microform Copy of VPRS 6012). Examine the fiche which contains correspondence within the required date and number range.

    1.3 Locate the correspondence number (from step 1.1) in the 'Correspondence Number' column of VPRS 6010. Note the number which is adjacent to it in the 'Attached to' column.

    1.4 Locate the later correspondence number in the 'Correspondence Number' column of the relevant fiche. Repeat this step until the 'Attached to' column is empty. The correspondence will be filed in VPRS 6008 under the last correspondence number. Consult the records description lists for VPRS 6008 and retrieve the file with that number.

    For example, correspondence numbered 1927/5333 was attached to 27/7919, which was in turn attached to 27/10223, and so on through several more attachments until 28/9781. All the correspondence is filed with 28/9781 on the file of that number.

    2. October 1958 to 1987

    2.1 Consult VPRS 9468 Keyword Index Cards to General Correspondence Files and VPRS 9470 Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files. Note the file number, consult the records description lists for VPRS 6008 and retrieve the file. If the required title is not found, or if the records description lists do not have an entry for the required file, proceed to step 2.2.

    2.2 Consult VPRS 9472 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence Files. Identify the required file title and note its number. Consult the records description lists for VPRS 6008 and retrieve the file. If the records description lists do not have an entry for the required file, proceed to step 2.3.

    2.3 Consult VPRS 9469 Registration and Location Cards for General Correspondence Files. Locate the required file number. Turn the card over to see whether file was destroyed or amalgamated with another file. If the file was amalgamated with another file, locate that files number. Consult the records description lists for VPRS 6008 and retrieve the file.

    3. 1987 to 1995

    3.1 This portion of the series is now controlled by VPRS 9616 Data Bases for the Post-1995 Retrieval of Correspondence Files. Refer to the series registration for VPRS 9616 for information about locating files for this period.

  • Function / Content
    This series comprises some of the files inherited from the Victorian Water Supply Department (VA 2787) and registered correspondence sent and received by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (VA 723, 1906 - 1984), the Rural Water Commission (VA 2338, 1984 - 1992) and the Rural Water Corporation (VA 4234, 1992 - 1995).

    Note: Although the series commenced in 1906, most of the correspondence registered before 1928 is in VPRS 3844 General Correspondence Files (Alphabetically Re-arranged Inactive Portion of VPRS 6008, pre 1928 Files), Single Number System. See the System of Arrangement and Control section below and series description for VPRS 3844 for more information.

    The series apparently does not contain all of the post-1927 correspondence. Most correspondence was registered and attached to this series by the Records Branch. Some correspondence, however, was controlled by the Divisions concerned without being registered by the Records Branch. For example, at various times correspondence dealing with personnel, water diversion permits and hydrotechnology appear to have been maintained by the respective Divisions. Exactly what correspondence was controlled by other Divisions has not been researched. It is probable, however, that at least some correspondence to and from all Divisions is contained in this series.

    The series includes District Offices correspondence. It also includes some files which were originally created and maintained by the HydroTechnology Branch and its predecessors in separate series. See the Series Contents section in System of Arrangement and Control below for more information.

  • Recordkeeping System
    *Series Composition and Date Range

    The State Rivers and Water Supply Commission used one annual single number sequence to register its inward correspondence from 1906 until 1958, when a file-level registration system commenced. This form of an annual single number system continued till 1986, when the RMS database for the management and control of general correspondence took over from the manual, paper based control.

    Note: Majority of the files registered between 1906 and 1928 were separated from the original recordkeeping system and alphabetically re-arranged in order to provide a more efficient method of retrieval of inactive files. These were later serialised as VPRS 3844 General Correspondence Files (Alphabetically Re-arranged Inactive Portion of VPRS 6008, pre 1928 Files), Single Number System.

    Remaining files registered in the same period but retained within the original system were transferred to the PROV in 1985 as the P0 consignment of VPRS 6008.

    The Rural Water Corporation, which succeeded the Rural Water Commission and the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission in 1992 and 1984 respectively, has since transferred consignments which contain some correspondence registered at item level (1906 to 1958) and later correspondence registered at file level (manual annual single number system 1958 to 1987, RMS database 1987 - c.1995) as well as divisional Hydro-technology files.

    The Rural Water Corporation mistakenly understood that all these consignments, in fact representing different annual single number systems and separate divisional system files, were part of one series and processed them accordingly as subsequent consignments of VPRS 6008. This registration of VPRS 6008 was incorrect. When the above errors were discovered in 1995, it was considered impractical to re-serialise them correctly. There were three reasons for not changing the series titles and dates. Firstly, the later consignments are very large. Secondly, successors to the Rural Water Corporation have received copies of the data bases that comprise finding aids for nearly all correspondence files, whether or not they are in Public Record Office custody. These data bases refer to the existing series and consignment numbers. Thirdly, both series have been available to researchers in their current form since the first transfers in 1982 and 1985 respectively.
    In 2004, as part of the Rural Water Project, the documentation for VPRS 3844 and VPRS 6008 as well as all relevant controlling records was audited and revised in order to clarify the relationships between individual recordkeeping systems and series.

    *Recordkeeping Systems

    Arrangement and control of VPRS 6008 was by three discrete records control systems.

    1. Annual Single Number System, Document Level Control - referred to as Variable (or Varying) Top Number System
    1906 to October 1958

    Up to October 1958 every piece of incoming correspondence was registered (apart from particular classes of correspondence which were forwarded directly to the Divisions concerned - see above). After date-stamping, correspondence was registered by being stamped with the next available number from a register of inward correspondence. The form which this register took for most of the period is not known. The only extant portion of the register relates to the period 1954 to 1958 - see VPRS 9614 Registration Journals for General Correspondence.

    After receiving a registration number, a new piece of inward correspondence was classified according to VPRS 9471 Lists of Classified Indexable Headings. The classification was recorded in the register. An officer would then record the number and a prcis of the new correspondence on the relevant card in VPRS 6009 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence. Previous entries on the card were then checked to identify related correspondence which had been received previously. The earlier correspondence was retrieved and attached to the new letter. The file of correspondence was then controlled by the number of the new letter.

    In this way correspondence was top-numbered whenever later correspondence was received on the same subject. Top-numbering was recorded in VPRS 6012 Attachment Books. Step 1.4 of How to Use the Records above shows an example of top-numbering. Files of correspondence created by the top-numbering process also contained internal and outward correspondence.

    Even though many letters might have been recorded on a card in VPRS 6009 because they had the same classification, they were not necessarily related. Cards in VPRS 6009 comprised the primary and secondary classifications in a three-tiered hierarchy. The subject of a letter - that is, entries on a card - comprised the third tier. (Some classifications which generated a lot of correspondence required another tier in the hierarchy. In these cases, the cards comprised the primary, secondary and tertiary classifications, while the entries comprised the quaternary tier.)

    It appears that various subject indexes were used to aid retrieval. VPRS 6009 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence functioned as an index as well as a classified register; in fact it was known referred to by agency officers as the subject index. However, it is likely that these other indexes, which were arranged alphabetically, were more convenient than VPRS 6009, which was arranged according to a hierarchical scheme. Only two subject indexes from this period have survived, however. These are VPRS 9605 Index to Special Correspondence (to 1935) and VPRS 9468 Keyword Index Cards to General Correspondence Files (referring to correspondence received from the early 1940s). It is not known whether these two series completely indexed VPRS 6008 for the periods in which they operated. See the series registrations for VPRS 9468 and VPRS 9605 for more information about those series.

    By the early 1950s the practice of enclosing closed files within covers was in place. Although these covers had titles on them, all files were still stored in (top-) number order. The covers of closed files referred to the superseding file number. Open files did not have covers.

    2. Annual Single Number System, File Level Control - referred to as Fixed (Static) Single Number System
    October 1958 to 1987

    A number of reviews of the agency's recordkeeping procedures took place from the late 1940s, and as a result document-level registration ceased in October 1958. From that time only files were registered. The first file number was 58/20001, rather than 58/1, probably to avoid confusion after the change (the last document number had been 58/17378).

    When document-level registration ceased most control series were closed and new ones commenced. A new List of Classified Indexable Headings (see VPRS 9471 Lists of Classified Indexable Headings) was also introduced. It is not certain, however, that all the changes to the recordkeeping system were introduced simultaneously.

    From October 1958 the steps taken on receipt of correspondence were similar to those in the earlier period - see above. The difference was that only files were registered, not individual items of correspondence. Files were registered by receiving the next available number from VPRS 9469 Registration and Location Cards for General Correspondence Files. Classified registration and indexing was done in VPRS 9472 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence Files.

    Again similarly to the earlier period, lexicographically arranged indexes of subjects and names were used in addition to the classified register. These other indexes provided for quicker retrieval than the classified register, which was arranged hierarchically. The other indexes were VPRS 9468 Keyword Index Cards to General Correspondence Files and VPRS 9470 Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files.

    VPRS 9468 and VPRS 9470 did not completely index the series, however. Whereas an entry in VPRS 9472 was an integral and routine part of every files registration, entries were made in the keyword and nominal indexes only when it was thought likely that a file would be needed again. An entry might be made in the keyword or nominal index at any stage in a files life rather than at the registration stage only.

    Top-numbering of files was also used during this period.

    3. Annual Single Number System - RMS Control at File Level
    1987 to 1995

    In 1987 the four card series which registered, classified and indexed VPRS 6008 were replaced by a computerised system, VPRS 9473 RMS Data Base for the Management and Control of General Correspondence Files. VPRS 9473 was used to register, classify, index, track and retrieve all files in VPRS 6008 created from 1987. Files created earlier but used after the commencement of the data base were also registered on the system.

    Whether VPRS 9473 is still extant is not known: see the series registration for VPRS 9473 for more information. However, data from that data base was exported to VPRS 9616 Data Bases for the Post-1995 Retrieval of General Correspondence Files in 1995. The Public Record Office has a copy of VPRS 9616.

    A few files were raised after VPRS 9473 was shut down. These files were given a check digit of 0. Why a check digit was allocated is not known: a check digit was only a requirement of the system which had been decommissioned. Some of these files are in the P2 and P3 consignments.

    *Series Contents

    District Offices Records

    It is believed that all correspondence created or received by District Offices was registered in this series. While District Offices probably maintained reference copies of correspondence, it appears that original copies of all inward correspondence and copies of all outward letters were filed by the Records Branch.

    HydroTechnology Records

    The P2 and P4 consignments contain some files registered the HydroTechnology Branch. These files have the prefixes 00 to 05 in lieu of the year portion of the number, and contain computations, drawings and notes relating to the design of dams.

    Although these files were not registered by the Records Branch until 1990, their contents dated from the 1970s or earlier. They were originally raised and maintained by the Hydrotechnology Branch and registered manually there. The files were later listed on the Records Branch data base, VPRS 9473 RMS Data Base for the Management and Control of General Correspondence Files, to facilitate management and retrieval. The Hydrotechnology Branch continued to control the files, however.

    In 1995 files similar to these were transferred to Sinclair Knight Mertz Proprietary Limited (VA 3748, Australian Company Number 001024095), one of the companies to which the Hydrotechnology Branch was sold. Although they were not listed in VPRS 9473 until April 1990 to August 1994, their contents commenced in the 1970s. The meaning of the prefixes can be found in VPRS 9616 Data Base for the Post-1995 Retrieval of General Correspondence Files.

    *Dispersal of Records

    In preparation for the Rural Water Corporation's abolition in 1995, portions of this series were transferred to some of the Corporations public sector successors and sector purchasers. Other portions had already been transferred to inheriting public offices as a result of earlier administrative change. The public successors and purchasers which might have received portions of this series include:

    VA 01007 Melbourne Water
    VA 03097 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Water Resources Branch)
    VA 03749 Wimmera Mallee Region Water Authority
    VA 03751 Southern Region Rural Water Authority
    VA 03753 South West Region Water Authority
    VA 03754 Gippsland Region Rural Water Authority
    VA 03755 Sunraysia Region Rural Water Authority
    VA 03756 Barwon Region Water Authority
    VA 03757 Goulburn-Murray Region Water Authority
    VA 03996 Coliban Region Water Authority
    State Water Laboratory
    Office of Water Reform
    Wonthaggi Water Board
    VA 03748 Sinclair Knight Mertz, Australian Company Number 001024095 [records relating to hydrotechnology]
    VA 03750 Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation of Victoria Proprietary Limited, Australian Company Number 069699467
    VA 03752 Thiess Environmental Services, Australian Company Number 010221486 [records relating to hydrographic services].

    The names, boundaries and functional responsibilities of some water authorities have changed since the records were passed to them. Accordingly, the records which the Rural Water Corporation transferred to one agency might have since been transferred to another.

    Other records were transferred to the above agencies as well. Other records transferred included cine films and video tapes, which were all passed to Goulburn Murray Water. The video tapes were produced by the agency's Public Relations Branch; some were produced for technical sections within the agency. Lists of the films and tapes are attached to this series registration.

    The list of agencies and companies to which records in this series might have been transferred was derived from a Rural Water Corporation form letter to researchers and the list of Customer Groups in the data base contained in VPRS 9616/P1. The lists of cine films and videos attached to this series registration was printed from a data base prepared to facilitate the transfer of the cine films and video tapes to Goulburn-Murray Water.

    The recordkeeping processes described in the System of Arrangement and Control section of the series registration were deduced from the analysis of the extant records and from the Records Branch operations manuals prepared in 1977 and 1987. However, neither manual describes the recordkeeping processes in the detail that the series registration text has attempted to do. It is possible that the steps described in the series note did not actually occur in the sequence set out. The operations manuals are in VPRS 11185 Policy, Procedures and Operations Manuals (Library Set).

More research resourcesMore research resources
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
? 1928 - 1987 Keyword Index Cards to General Correspondence Files (Master Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9468) VPRS 14673
1906 - 1958 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence VPRS 6009
1906 - 1958 Attachment Books (Microform Copy of VPRS 6012) VPRS 6010
1906 - 1958 Attachment Books (Refer to Microform Copy, VPRS 6010) VPRS 6012
1908 - 1918 Subject and Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files VPRS 9606
1908 - By 1953 Index to Special Correspondence VPRS 9605
1928 - 1958 File Location and Top-Number Cards for Portion of pre 1959 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System (Variable Top Number) VPRS 14702
1928 - 1994 File Location Register VPRS 9615
1952 - 1995 Data Base for the Post 1995 Retrieval of General Correspondence Files VPRS 9616
1954 - 1958 Registration Journals for General Correspondence VPRS 9614
1958 - 1986 Index to General Correspondence Files VPRS 14940
1958 - 1987 Registration and Location Cards for General Correspondence Files VPRS 9469
1958 - 1987 Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files VPRS 9470
1958 - 1987 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence Files VPRS 9472
1958 - 1987 Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files (Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9470) VPRS 14721
1958 - By 1987 List of Classified Indexable Headings VPRS 14726
1959 - 1987 Registration and Location Cards for General Correspondence Files (Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9469) VPRS 14735
1995 - 1995 Database for the Management and Control of General Correspondence VPRS 12565
Circa 1906 - 1958 List of Classified Indexable Headings (Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9471) VPRS 14727
Circa 1928 - 1987 Keyword Index Cards to General Correspondence Files VPRS 9468
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
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
0 - 1958 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence Files VPRS 9472
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 ? 1860 - 1954 Open 1006
P0001 1952 - 1995 Open 1408
P0004 By 1981 - ? 1994 Open 6
P0005 1958 - 1958 Open 1
P0006 1931 - 1990 Open 1454
P0007 1956 - 1965 Open 9
P0008 ? 1906 - 1995 Open 44
P0009 ? 1906 - 1994 Open 888
P0010 ? 1906 - 1995 Open 89
P0012 1947 - 2002 Open 1
P0013 1954 - 1954 Open 1
P0014 1980 - 1980 Open 1
P0015 1979 - 1980 Open 1
P0016 1912 - 1991 Open 10
P0017 1942 - 1998 Open 84
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
? 1928 - 1987 Keyword Index Cards to General Correspondence Files (Master Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9468) VPRS 14673
1906 - 1958 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence VPRS 6009
1906 - 1958 Attachment Books (Microform Copy of VPRS 6012) VPRS 6010
1906 - 1958 Attachment Books (Refer to Microform Copy, VPRS 6010) VPRS 6012
1908 - 1918 Subject and Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files VPRS 9606
1908 - By 1953 Index to Special Correspondence VPRS 9605
1928 - 1958 File Location and Top-Number Cards for Portion of pre 1959 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System (Variable Top Number) VPRS 14702
1928 - 1994 File Location Register VPRS 9615
1952 - 1995 Data Base for the Post 1995 Retrieval of General Correspondence Files VPRS 9616
1954 - 1958 Registration Journals for General Correspondence VPRS 9614
1958 - 1986 Index to General Correspondence Files VPRS 14940
1958 - 1987 Registration and Location Cards for General Correspondence Files VPRS 9469
1958 - 1987 Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files VPRS 9470
1958 - 1987 Classified Registration Cards for General Correspondence Files VPRS 9472
1958 - 1987 Nominal Index Cards to General Correspondence Files (Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9470) VPRS 14721
1958 - By 1987 List of Classified Indexable Headings VPRS 14726
1959 - 1987 Registration and Location Cards for General Correspondence Files (Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9469) VPRS 14735
1995 - 1995 Database for the Management and Control of General Correspondence VPRS 12565
Circa 1906 - 1958 List of Classified Indexable Headings (Microfiche Copy of VPRS 9471) VPRS 14727
Circa 1928 - 1987 Keyword Index Cards to General Correspondence Files VPRS 9468
More research resourcesMore research resources

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