Series VPRS 7964
Outward Letter Books
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1877 - 1989
  Series in Custody 1877 - 1985
  Contents 1877 - 1985
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
1877 - 1978 Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners VA 2799
1978 - 1989 Port of Melbourne Authority VA 1426
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1978 - 1995 Port of Melbourne Authority VA 1426
2003 - cont Port of Melbourne Corporation VA 4028
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    The letters contained within these letter books are organised chronologically by date they were written. Browse the Records Description List to identify a volume with the date range required.

    For the period 1877 to 1944, each volume contained an index (either at the start or the end of the volume) that could be used to identify letters of interest by the name/title of the recipient, and thereby the location of the letter within the volume (either by annual single number of the letter or the folio number within the volume).

    For the period 1944 to 1981, a seperate series was created consisting of index cards (VPRS 7965 utward Correspondence Name Index Cards) which can be used for identifying letters of interest and their page location within a particular volume.

    For the period 1982 to 1989, the outwards and inwards correspondence were both indexed by another series of cards (which remain in agency custody) even though some of the letter books for this period are in PROV custody (that is, up until 1985).

  • Function / Content
    This series consists of letter books containing copies of outward letters written by officers of the Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners (from 1978 known as the Port of Melbourne Authority), from the establishment of the agency in 1877 to 1989. The letters, which relate to the entire range of business conducted by the Harbor Trust Commissioners, were maintained in two formats:

    * 1877-1929 letter press copies bound in volumes
    * 1929-1989 copies filed in lever arch binders.

    Although additional copies of the letters may be found in VPRS 7972 General Subject Correspondence Files: Alphabetical, it is not certain that letters were consistently placed on the files.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The volumes and lever arch binders in this series have been numbered sequentially in chronological order according to the date of the letter copies contained within.

    Between 1877 and 1944, each letter copy filed was given a letter number. Initially the numbering was based on an annual single number system, however, sometimes the numbering sequence would continue across years.

    Between 1903 and 1929 (volume numbers 92-191) only the date range was recorded on the spines. Following the introduction of the lever arch binders in 1929 (volume number 192) the letter numbers were again noted on the spine, however, this was soon replaced by the range of folio/page numbers contained within the volume.

    Each page of each Letter Book was numbered and an index was created according to the name or title of the recipient of the letter. Although the allocation of page numbers varied between a single sequence per book to a sequence continuing across several books, each Letter Book nevertheless continued to have its own index located at either the front or the back of the book.

    From 1 July 1944 the inclusion of a separate name index within each letter book was replaced by a separate name index card system. In conjunction with this each letter copy filed in the lever arch binder was allocated a sequential number. Although each letter still had a letter number, the arrangement of the letters in each folder was determined by the sequential number in the card index. The control series for this period is therefore VPRS 7965 Outward Correspondence Name Index Cards.

    1982-1989: From the beginning of 1982 a new correspondence filing system was introduced. At this time the number sequence by which the copies were indexed was discontinued (at number 209601) and the numbering of the copies thereafter became integrated with the sequence used for registering inward correspondence. The first letter copy under this system was allocated number 562523.

    In conjunction with this, the use of separate name index cards for outward correspondence (VPRS 7965) and for inward correspondence (VPRS 7974) ceased, and the index became integrated.

    The letter books from May 1985 onwards have been retained by the Port of Melbourne Authority.

    From July 1989 the outward letter copies have been filed in lever arch binders together with regular computer printout reports on all correspondence dealt with over a particular period. The lever arch binders in which these have been placed have not yet been allocated a number in the continuing sequence, and at this stage they appear to represent the beginning of a new series.

    Contents in custody include: letter copies arranged chronologically and allocated an annual single letter number (1877-1944); letter copies arranged chronologically and controlled by a sequential index number (1944-1981); and letter copies arranged chronologically and controlled by a sequential registration/index number (1982-1985).

    Range of control symbols for the units in this series is 1-812, though only 1-726 are currently in custody.

    The following control symbol ranges occur within the volumes/arch lever binders:
    * 1877-1944: annual single numbers and variations
    * 1944-1981: 1-209601
    * 1982-1985: 562523-618510 (numbers from the same sequence were also allocated to inwards correspondence).

    Volume number 681 (1981-1982) has two numbering sequences, one ending at number 209601, and another starting at number 562523.

    Notes written by archivists in 1990 that are found in volumes 192 and 207 state that volumes originally numbered 193 to 206 (on their spines) were missing. This covers the date range 1929 to 1932.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1944 - 1981 Outward Correspondence Name Index Cards VPRS 7965
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
- 1982 Outward Letter Books: Mallesons Letters VPRS 8196
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1944 Outward Correspondence Name Index Cards VPRS 7965
1944 - 1960 Outward Letter Books: Mallesons Letters VPRS 8196
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 1877 - 1985 Open 707
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1944 - 1981 Outward Correspondence Name Index Cards VPRS 7965
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