Registers of Inward Correspondence (Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 227)
||1856 - 1876
||Series in Custody
||1856 - 1876
||1856 - 1876
|Format of Records:
|Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series|
|Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series|
|Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series|
- How to use the Records
This series has been microfilmed because of its fragile state. Please use the microfilm copy, VPRS 227, available in the microfilm cabinets at the Laverton Search Room.
How to Use this Series
Researchers with a specific subject or searching for correspondence from a particular official or person should first consult the Index to Inwards Registered Correspondence (see VPRS 226 Microfilm Copy held in the Laverton Search Room) for the appropriate year to identify the volume and page number where the correspondence was registered. Letters from " persons" ie. members of the public were indexed alphabetically by surname and were grouped together at the start or end of the appropriate alphabetic section within the index. Letters from rural officials will be listed under the name of the locality. Letters from other government officials will often be listed under the name of the department or the position ie. Auditor General or Chief Secretary. Remember that the subject classifications used reflect 19th century ideas, values and attitudes and will not necessarily be analogous with current terminology.
Having identified a relevant entry in the index note the volume and page number given eg. S 241. Refer to the registers of inward correspondence (in this series) which are available on microfilm (see VPRS 227 in the Laverton Search Room). The reference S 241 would refer to register S, page 241 in which the correspondence was registered.
Once the entry for that letter has been located in the register the final filing location (and therefore the registration number to search for in the Microfiche Catalogue or Records Description Lists of the various correspondence series controlled by these registers) should be identified by tracing any links to subsequent correspondence usually marked in the second left hand column or in the far right-hand column of the registers.
It is important to follow the chain of correspondence till no higher registration number is listed against the entry as correspondence was filed under its final or last registration number. While the chain of correspondence is being traced through the registers keep a note of all the registration numbers of the correspondence in that chain because over time many files which were attached together have become separated and may now be listed under any one of the registration numbers within a chain.
Correspondence controlled by these registers
Correspondence registered in this registry system may be located in any one of the following series, researchers should check each series for the correspondence they have identified in the order listed below :
VPRS 44 Inward Registered and Unregistered Correspondence
Once you have identified the chain of correspondence registration numbers as explained above use VPRS 8670/P1 Microfiche Catalogue to Crown Lands and Survey Files in VPRS 44 to access correspondence in this series (see Registry System 7). Refer to the series description for VPRS 8670 for information regarding the use of this catalogue.
VPRS 5357 Land Selection and Correspondence Files
VPRS 242 Crown Reserves Correspondence Files
Once you have identified the chain of correspondence registration numbers as explained above use VPRS 7311 Microfiche Catalogue to Crown Land and Survey Files to access correspondence in these series. Refer to the series description for VPRS 7311 for information regarding the use of this catalogue.
VPRS 1258 Inward Correspondence (Surveyor-General)
VPRS 989 General Correspondence Files
VPRS 1258 Inward Correspondence (to the Surveyor-General)
VPRS 1261 Inward Correspondence (only one box)
VPRS 1016 Miscellaneous Correspondence Files (a few files)
Use the appropriate Records Descriptions Lists to access correspondence in these series.
This series consists of registers of inward correspondence received by the General Registry of the Department of Crown Lands, subsequently the Department of Crown Lands and Survey. This registry dealt with the general business of the Department, including enquiries from the public, from staff and from other government departments and organisations regarding the sale, selection and temporary occupation of Crown land, reserves, surveys and routine departmental and staffing matters.
These registers were 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. The file registration number also included the alpha symbol of the register:
eg. the one-hundred and twenty-third letter received in 1856 and registered in volume A was given the number 56/A 123.
The registers record in a column format
" No." ie. the registration number,
" Refer to No." ie. the registration number of any related previous or subsequent correspondence, later this was recorded under "how disposed of",
" Date " ie. the day and month received,
" Name " ie. the name/position of the sender,
" Subject " ie. a precis (summary) of the letter,
"How Disposed of " file movement ie. to which official the letter was referred for action, date referred to official and when returned.
A later or higher registration number written in the second or far right hand column means the letter has been top-numbered. This involved the practice of grouping together items of inward correspondence which referred to the same transaction to create files. The method adopted was that of placing earlier correspondence under later ones. Thus if there were a later letter registered 56/725 on the same transaction as 56/123, that earlier letter would be filed with the later one and there would in fact be no correspondence filed under 56/123.
Although the previous and subsequent numbers will most often be registered within these registers (VPRS 70), letters may also have been attached to other types of files. Eg. a letter applying for land may have initially been registered in VPRS 70 but later attached to subsequent correspondence to make up a "selection file" which were identified by a different style of file number. In this case the subsequent correspondence cited in VPRS 70 would be a selection file number rather than a standard registration number.
System of Arrangement/Control
Each register was identified by the year of use. Alternate registers were used, identified within a year by an alphabetical symbol (with the exception of one volume in 1868). It would seem that a register would be used for one day and then indexed on the next while another register was in use. The registration number of the letter from then included the alpha symbol of the register, eg. 56 A/786 meaning the seven-hundred and eighty-sixth letter registered in volume A for 1856. (Note: some registration numbers in volume A for 1856 do not refer to the alpha symbol). In later years this practice was modified: volumes were used simultaneously but were allocated separate sets of numbers at the start of each year.
For the period from July to December 1856 two volumes were used, one exclusively for correspondence from government officials. This system was not continued.
During the first few years after the introduction of this system the alpha symbols revert to A at the start of each year. From 1860 onwards the alpha sequence is continued across years until Z when the sequence reverts to A.
Entries for each letter were made chronologically by date of receipt, being allocated a sequential registration number in this order.
After April 1876 the registry system of the Department was completely overhauled and a new "self-indexing" system of registers was introduced. These are located in VPRS 166 Alphabetical Registers of Inward Correspondence [Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 228].
The correspondence registered in this series was also indexed alphabetically by general subject and by surname, the index also recording a precis of the letter, date received, and the volume and page number within the register, see VPRS 5522 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence.
All outward correspondence was registered and a copy retained, see:
VPRS 7934 Outward Letterbooks to Other Departments and District Land Officers 1862 - 1942
VPRS 7935 Outward Letterbooks to General Public 1858 - 1983
VPRS 7936 Outward Letterbooks: Secretary for Lands 1863 - 1930
The first transfer of this series appears to have been in 1983 when 3 volumes for the period 1856-1858 were accessioned. Subsequently other volumes were accessioned in 1984/85 and incorrectly serialised as VPRS 165.
VPRS 165 has now been cancelled and the volumes intersorted into VPRS 70.
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