Series VPRS 8005
Register of Shipping
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1982 - 1982
  Series in Custody 1982 - 1982
  Contents 1856 - 1983
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
1982 - 1982 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
1982 - 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
    System of Arrangement/Control

    Series: Volumes allocated sequential numbers in chronological order according to dates of vessel arrivals.

    Contents: Chronological by date of vessel's arrival, with the exception of Unit 10 where the entries are separated according to berth and then listed chronologically by date of berthing.

    Function/Contents

    When the Port of Melbourne Authority relocated from its Market Street premises to the World Trade Centre in 1982 an accumulation of various registers of shipping were numbered consecutively to facilitate their transfer. This series consists of those registers which were maintained between 1856 and 1983 and which record arrival and berthing details of vessels visiting the Port of Melbourne.

    Initially maintained by the Harbor Master's Office within the Ports and Harbors Branch of the Department of Trade and Customs (VA 606), from 1877 they were maintained by the Harbor Master's (Nautical) Branch and its successor divisions of the Melbourne Harbour Trust Commissioners (VA 2799) - from 1978 known as the Port of Melbourne Authority (VA 1426).

    Although the format changed over time, certain elements of information relating to the following matters were consistently recorded:

    - Arrival and departure times and date
    - Names of vessels and their masters
    - Nationality of the vessel and/or where the vessel arrived from
    - Berthage times and locations
    - Tonnage of cargo
    - Type of rig


    With the exception of Unit 10, entries were made in the registers in chronological order by date of vessel's arrival and, for all volumes, the entries mostly relate to berthages inside the Yarra River area. Evidence of the accumulative nature of this series can be demonstrated by the P1 consignment, as follows:

    Units 1-3 These early registers were maintained by the Harbor Master, Ports and Harbors Branch, Department of Trade and Customs.

    Unit 4 This volume commences July 1877 and was maintained by the Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners. The first page indicates the register was to be used for the `Port of Melbourne' and a note below suggests that registers were also kept at Sandridge and Williamstown.

    Units 5-7 These volumes continue as per Unit 4 and cover the period June 1882 to 1892.

    `Melbourne Wharves' has been embossed on the spine of 7 - 9, 11 and 13 - 15.
    Unit 8 Details relating to Inward and Outward vessels are separated on each folio within this volume which covers January 1912 to February 1913.

    Unit 9 Details are in a similar format to Unit 8, however this volume was used for Outer Berths (including Yarraville, Footscray, Port Melbourne, Williamstown). The date range of this volume (August 1912 to January 1915) partially overlaps with the date range of Unit 8. Also, some vessels are recorded in both Units 8 and 9 if they were moved from an outer berth to an inner berth or vice versa.

    Unit 10 The volume covering January to December 1915 - 1916 has a significantly different format in that the primary arrangement is by berth and then entries are made chronologically within each such division. As a `Register of Berthings', the details relate to cargo and berthage details recorded for wharfage purposes. Even though unit 10 was processed as part of this series in 1982, it appears to be the first volume of the Register of Shipping VPRS 8338. The original number marked on the spine of the volume is 1.

    Units 11-20 These volumes commencing January 1917 were used for all wharves within the jurisdiction of the Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners. Volumes 11 to 15 have the same format as Unit 9 but from Volume 16 (February 1926) there is a minor change in the format.

    Units 21-23 In October 1938 the format again changed. Details were now recorded chronologically on separate folios for each month, and details recorded for inward and outward movements were no longer separated on each folio.

    From this breakdown of the series into the various registers which it comprises, gaps in the series can be identified for the following periods:

    May 1870 to July 1877

    March 1893 to January 1912

    Subsequent Series

    In August 1983 a Shipping Information Processing System (SHIPS) came into operation. This computerized database system, which records all shipping movements in the Port, has superseded the use of the volumes of register shipping information. SHIPS is only available on-line and is in current, daily use at the Port of Melbourne Authority.

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide054 Ships and Shipping Movements
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1856 - 1983 Open 33
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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    PROVguide054 Ships and Shipping Movements