Series VPRS 6352
General Correspondence Files (Mental Retardation/Intellectual Disability)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1981 - 1990
  Series in Custody 1981 - 1990
  Contents ? 1940 - 1990
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records:
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1981 - 1985 Health Commission of Victoria VA 652
1985 - 1990 Department of Community Services (also known as Community Services Victoria) VA 2633
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 Health and Community Services VA 3092
1996 - 2014 Department of Human Services VA 3970
2015 - cont Department of Health and Human Services VA 5037
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    To locate a file within this series, first identify a file number and then, using Consignments below, establish the unit (or box) number containing that file. Consult VPRS 14851 which is a keyword index produced from a computerised records management system introduced to control these files.

    File titles in this series are constructed from up to four subject headings, the first two being fixed headings which basically identify the broad subject of the file. The index is arranged in alphabetical order by keywords based on the file's primary (or first) heading. All files containing that primary heading are then listed under each keyword in file number order.

  • Function / Content
    This series contains general correspondence files pertaining to the administration of mental retardation/intellectual disability services. The files were created for the:

    - period 1981-1985 by the Mental Retardation Division of the Health Division (VA 652), and
    - period 1985-1990 by the Office of Intellectual Disability Services (OIDS) of the Department of Community Services (VA 2633).

    The subject of individual files range from policy matters to housekeeping. Some files also relate to staffing, accommodation and transport with respect to specific institutions.

    It is believed that this series does not include correspondence handled by the relevant responsible Minster which were handled separately by a different administrative unit. This particular matter is subject to further research.

    The series dates from the formation of the Mental Retardation Division in 1981. It is evident that at this time that the contents of some files were top numbered into this series from the general correspondence filing system previously maintained by the Mental Health Division of the Health Department from 1952 to 1983 (VPRS 6344) which prior to 1981 was responsible for the provision of these services.

    Papers on some files date from approximately 1940. Judging from markings on these papers, it can be inferred that these originated from filing systems operated by the following agencies which were previous responsible for the mental retardation function:

    - Department of Health I, including Central Administration and Mental Hygiene Branch (VA 695)
    - Mental Hygiene Authority (VA 2823), and
    - Department of Mental Hygiene (VA 2865).

    During 1990 the Department of Community Services decided to significantly broaden the scope of its central general correspondence filing system through the incorporation of files pertaining to a number of functions (including intellectual disability) which it had inherited in the course of approximately the previous five years. Accordingly this series was combined with the files created pertaining to these functions and the central general correspondence series (VPRS 14838) to form a new series arranged according to an annual single number sequence.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The files in this series are arranged in annual single number order. (In other words files were allocated a number from 1 regardless of category/subject and this number is prefixed by the year of creation. The file number reverts to 1 at the beginning of each calendar year. When a file became too large to be easily handled, a new part file retaining the original file number was created.

    Although the basic system of arrangement remained the same, there were changes in the method of control, as follows;

    PERIOD 1981 - 1988

    During this period file numbers were allocated from a card register (VPRS 14849). The front of each card recorded the file number and titles allocated to each individual file. The reverse of the card was used to record details of file movements between officers within the Division/Office.

    A card index was also created for this series (VPRS 14850). This index consists of cards divided into sections comprising a subject index, names index, place index, district training centres and community residential units. Entries on these cards record the file number, file title and, in some instances, date of file creation.

    There appears to have been no fixed terms for the titling of files during this period. File titles were determined by the officer who requested creation of the file.

    PERIOD 1988-1990

    During 1988, OIDS introduced a computerised records management system called `Paperchase' to allocate file numbers and to operate as a file tracking and searching system. An output printed from this system in the form of a keyword index based on the primary heading has been transferred to PROV (VPRS 14851).

    The introduction of this system led to the implementation of structured file titling utilising up to four subject headings. Fixed terms were used for the primary and secondary headings. These basically serve to identify the broad subject of the file. The third and fourth terms (if used) identify the specific subject of the file, for example:

    Organisations (primary)- Disabled (secondary)- Disability Resource Centre (tertiary)

    In some cases a general subject file would be created by the combination of the two fixed terms, for example: Organisations - Mission to Streets and Lanes.

    All files created in this series between 1981-1988 prior to the introduction of `Paperchase' were retitled according to the conventions subsequently established and were entered into the system. Consequently, the keyword index (VPRS14851) covers all files created in this series. This includes files which were transferred to PROV custody during 1984 (refer consignment 6352/P).

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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1981 General Correspondence Files (Mental Health) VPRS 6344
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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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
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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