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Series VPRS 16171
Regional Land Office Parish and Township Plans Digitised Reference Set
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 2001 - 2004
  Series in Custody 2001 - 2004
  Contents ? 1837 - ? 2004
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Digital
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2001 - 2002 Department of Natural Resources and the Environment VA 3972
2002 - 2004 Department of Sustainability and Environment VA 4554
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2002 - cont Department of Sustainability and Environment VA 4554
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    This series contains digitised copies of parish, township, soldier settlement, closer settlement, land settlement, county and other miscellaneous plans. The plans are 'working plans', used to record information about use of Crown Land (leases, for example) and were maintained by various regional land offices throughout Victoria. They cover all areas of Victoria, including Melbourne, and may record information dating from establishment of the Port Phillip District and the first official land sales (1837) up until the time of scanning (2001 - 2004). The plans were collated and digitised by the Bendigo regional land office.

    To locate plans of interest, search within the series by parish, township, county, or closer or soldier settlement estate name. Note that parishes, townships, counties and land districts sometimes share names. For instance, a search on 'Ballaarat' will return over two hundred results.

    Alternatively, parish and township plans may be searched by their unique 4 digit identification code, assigned by the Central Plan Office, Melbourne. The code can be obtained from PROV Guide Land, Place and Local History - Parish Plans Online. This search will return only those plans directly related to the parish or township.

    The boundaries and names of parishes and counties can be ascertained by referring to the Parish and County index in this series (Consignment P3).

    Note that PROV does not hold the original physical plans. These were returned to their respective land offices after imaging.

    The consignment breakdown for the series is as follows:

    Consignment P1: Parish and Township plans (and possibly some miscellaneous plans).

    Consignment P2: Soldier Settlement, Closer Settlement, County and other Miscellaneous Plans.

    Consignment P3: County and Parish Index.

  • Function / Content
    OVERVIEW

    This series contains digitised copies of parish, township, soldier settlement, closer settlement, land settlement, county and other miscellaneous plans. The plans are 'working plans', used to record information about use of Crown Land (leases, for example) and were maintained by various regional land offices throughout Victoria. They cover all areas of Victoria, including Melbourne, and may record information dating from establishment of the Port Phillip District and the first official land sales (1837) up until the time of scanning (2001 - 2004). The plans were collated and digitised by the Bendigo regional land office: the intention being to provide a consolidated, readily accessible and unalterable reference set of the last hardcopy plans in current use prior to moving to the use of digital systems to create and manage plans.


    CREATION OF THE REFERENCE SET

    Scanning took place over the period 2001 to 2004 and was managed by the Bendigo regional land office. Plans were sourced from the regional land offices throughout Victoria. Central and metropolitan Melbourne is included.

    The idea to create the set originated within the Bendigo regional land office and arose from a recognition that continued creation and maintenance of such plans in physical format was becoming problematic. Increasing amounts of plan data was becoming available in digital format within Departmental systems leading to duplication of effort. Also, structural changes within the Department created an increasing requirement to be able to access plans independently of geographic location, which was difficult with physical plans because they could only be readily accessed at the regional office where they were physically located.

    A decision was reached to cease maintaining the plans in physical format. This digitised reference set provides a consolidated, readily accessible and unalterable copy of the physical plans in current use around the time of the decision to go digital. In effect it provides a snapshot of Crown land usage throughout Victoria in the period 2001 to 2004.

    The precise criteria for inclusion of plans in the collection is subject to further research at time of writing (2009) but is thought to have been based on current and anticipated future reference requirements. Best available copies were selected for imaging.

    The physical plans from which the images derive are believed, at time of writing, to remain in the custody of the Land office from where they were sourced.


    INFORMATIONAL CONTENT

    The plans in this series are known as Working Plans.

    Their primary use was to record information about the use of Crown Land as opposed to its status, in terms of alienation from the Crown (see below for further explanation).

    Matters referenced by working plans could include:

    1. Temporary tenure of Crown land not involving alienation. For example, fixed term leases and licenses to occupy.
    2. Changes in road alignments and property boundaries.
    3. Proposed changes in boundaries and alignments.
    4. Enquiries and preliminary dealings relating to the sale of land.
    5. Details of Crown reservations including details of gazettal and file numbers.
    6. References to regional registers of dealings.
    7. Use and management of Crown lands. For example, details of changes in the use of Crown reserves and details of how they were managed.

    File numbers of correspondence files maintained in relation to matters may also be shown.

    The plans also include details of the alienation of land from the Crown (names of selectors, dates and selection file numbers) but these plans are not the definitive, legal record of the land's status in terms of its alienation from the Crown. This is recorded on a corresponding, centrally maintained set of plans known as Record plans. The working plans in this series were derived from Record plans, hence the inclusion of alienation details (see further below for more details).

    Information may date from the earliest official land transactions in the region covered by the plan, and may extend to the period 2001 to 2004. The first official transactions occurred in the area of the current day Melbourne central business district in 1837 (first official land sales).


    DATE RANGES

    At least three date ranges may be attributed to the plans.

    1. The date of imaging. For the entire collection this is 2001 to 2004 and is reflected in the series date range and the consignment series date ranges.
    2. The date of the information content of the plans. For the entire collection this is assumed to be 1837 to 2004, reflecting the earliest and latest transaction dates likely to be recorded within the collection. 1837 is the year of the first official land sales in the area which is now the Melbourne central business district. The earliest year sighted during inspection of a sample of plans, however, is 1838. 2004 is the year when imaging ceased and so is the latest possible year that information could have been recorded on a plan. The precise end date is subject to further research. The informational content date range is reflected in the series contents date range and the consignment contents date ranges. The uncertainly is denoted by use of the '?' qualifier.

    Note that no attempt has been made to ascertain an information content date range for the Soldier and Closer Settlement plans and other miscellaneous plans. It is too difficult to determine accurate start and end dates and any attempt to estimate could be misleading. Suffice to say, the Soldier and Closer Settlement plans would commence around or some time after the commencement of the respective schemes. Information about the respective schemes may be obtained from the PROV Lands Guide, any series related to the schemes that have been registered in the PROV catalogue and external secondary sources.

    3. The date of the hardcopy plan itself, in other words, the date it was first copied from the centrally maintained Record plan for subsequent use by the regions. These dates are subject to further research and are unlikely to be of immediate significance for most research purposes. In any event, this date is typically recorded on each plan.


    CONTENTS

    More detailed information about the types of plans to be found in the reference set and their use may be obtained by reference to the PROV Lands Guide 2009 and to any series that may have been registered in the PROV catalogue in relation to specific plan types or the soldier and closer/land settlement schemes.

    Parish and Township Plans (Consignment P1):
    Plans are thought to exist for all parishes and townships except for several remote parishes in the North East. It is not known if parish plans were ever created for these parishes. Plans exist for the Melbourne city and metropolitan area.

    Soldier and Closer Settlement Plans (Consignment P2):
    Plans exist for both post World War I and post World War II Soldier Settlement schemes, although the completeness of the collection is subject to further research as at time writing. Plans also exist for Closer Settlement and post World War II Land Settlement schemes. Again, completeness is subject to further research.

    Miscellaneous Plans (Consignment P2 and possibly P1):
    The range of plans is subject to further research.

    County Plans (Consignment P2):
    Completeness is subject to further research.

    County and Parish Index (Consignment P3):
    These are plans of Victoria showing County and Parish boundaries and names. They can be used to identify which county or parish a particular area of interest belongs. They include the Melbourne and metropolitan area. There are four plans covering: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast. The Melbourne and metropolitan region is covered in the Southwest plan. The plans have been included in a separate consignment for convenience of access.

    PLAN NUMBERS

    Plan numbering systems relating to the original plans in this series have not been researched and documented as part of this series. Further information may possibly be obtained from the PROV Lands Guide and, if any original plans have been separately registered in the PROV catalogue, from the series description for that registration.

    The number in the image file title is the parish or township's unique 4 digit identification code, assigned by the Central Plan Office.


    MANAGEMENT OF WORKING PLANS: HISTORICAL NOTE

    Historically, two sets of working plans were maintained: one centrally in Melbourne at departmental level and the other by the various regional land offices. Each regional office maintained plans relating to the geographical area for which it was responsible. Plans were maintained in tandem between Melbourne and the regional offices, with changes and annotations communicated between them and plans updated accordingly. In theory, two identical versions of each plan existed. It is believed, however, that the maintenance of plans in tandem was breaking down by the 1970's with more responsibility devolving to the regional offices.

    Historically, the Occupation Branch (OB) within the Department of Crown Lands and Survey maintained the central set of plans. In 1983, major administrative changes saw the winding up of the Branch and devolution of its responsibilities to the regional land offices. Regional offices became responsible for the maintenance of working plans within their respective areas. The retired or 'put-away' (see below) plans that had been maintained by the Occupation Branch were distributed to the regions. It is not known if the current plans of the Branch, as at 1983, were so distributed. This is still subject to research at time of writing.

    Some of the original plans that have been scanned for this collection may therefore have originated from the former Occupation Branch.


    PUT-AWAY WORKING PLANS

    Over time, new versions of plans could be created to replace those that had become worn or cluttered. The data on the old plan was transferred to the new plan. Superseded plans were retired from use and were known as 'put-away' plans. Current plans were known as 'current plans'. Both regional land offices and the Occupation Branch maintained sets of put-away plans as well as current plans.

    It is uncertain whether all historical information was transferred to a new plan from the soon-to-be put-away plan, although opinions expressed by staff of the Bendigo land office as at 2006 leaned towards the belief that the information was transferred. It is also uncertain to what extent superseded (put-away) plans have survived over time.

    The plans imaged in this series were those considered current at the time. Researchers who cannot locate information of interest on plans in this series may benefit from contacting the regional land office currently responsible for administering the relevant area.


    RECORD PLANS

    Historically, the management of Crown Land has been organised around use or occupation, on the one hand, and land status, in terms of its alienation from the Crown, on the other hand. As noted previously, working plans are concerned with use or occupation. The legal record of the status of Crown Land was recorded on corresponding sets of plans known as Record Plans. Record plans were maintained centrally in Melbourne at departmental level.

    Working plans are copies of Record plans. Regional offices used the copy of a Record plan as the basis on which to record information relating to land use or occupation. Hence a Working plan will also contain information relating to land status. Examination of a selection of working plans suggests details of original selectors are likely to appear equally on both sets of plans. Note, however, that other details included on an original Record plan, such as details of plans from which the current plan has been compiled, names of surveyors, certifications and the certification of the Surveyor-General, may not appear on the Working plans. Researchers should bear in mind that the two sets of plans were created and maintained for different purposes and should not assume one set of plans can be used as a substitute for the other.

  • Recordkeeping System
    IMAGE FILES

    Each plan image is in PDF format and there is one plan image per PDF file. The PDF file title includes the name (parish, township, estate or county as appropriate) and the following data (abbreviated using the conventions shown):

    Plan Type:
    Psh - Parish
    Tp - Township
    SS - Soldier Settlement
    CS - Closer Settlement
    Sub - Subdivision
    Misc - Miscellaneous
    allot - Allotments
    pt - Part

    Plan Origin:
    LO - Land Office
    FOB - Former Occupation Branch

    Plan Type:
    Imp - Imperial Plan
    Metric - Metric Plan
    Sch - Schedule
    (P) - Plastic Plan
    PA - Put Away Plan

    And, for parishes and townships, the parish or township's unique 4 digit identification code.

    Examples:

    Sandhurst-5A (Psh) LO Imp 3473

    (Parish of Sandhurst Sheet 5A, Land Office Plan, Imperial, Parish id 3473)

    Eaglehawk at Nerring-4 (Sch) LO Metric 3473B

    (Schedule for Eaglehawk at Nerring, Land Office Plan, Metric, Parish id 3473B)

    The titling conventions were established by the Bendigo regional land office.


    ADDITIONAL DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION

    Additional information or metadata has been recorded against each plan by PROV and is available for keyword search as follows:

    Parish Plans: Parish name in full, County and Land District.

    Township Plans: Township name in full, Parish in which the Township is located, and Land District.

    Soldier and Closer Settlement Plans: Estate name in full.

    Note: Land districts are those in existence as at 1955, taken from the Township and Parish Guide, Department of Crown Lands and Survey, Melbourne, 18 December 1955.


    ARRANGEMENT OF METADATA AND VEOS

    Each plan is contained in a single PDF file. Each PDF file is a document within a VERS Record VEO. There is one Record VEO for each plan. Each Record VEO is linked to a File VEO. A File VEO may contain any number of Record VEOs. Each Record and File VEO is in turn linked to a consignment within this series.

    The creation and arrangement of the metadata was undertaken by PROV. VEOs were created by PROV.

    Parish and Township Plans are contained in Consignment P1. Plans are arranged alphabetically by parish or township title. There is one alphabetical sequence for all plans, regardless of region. Plans are grouped in File VEOs. The ranges are: A-Bi, Bo-Ca, Ch-Dr, Du-G, H-K, L-Me, Mi-Na, Ne-R, S-Ti, To-We and Wh-Z. This reflects the arrangement of the plans on the original DVDs. The breakdown also provides manageable sized lists of Record VEOs for purposes of browsing the contents of the consignment.

    Soldier Settlement, Closer Settlement, County and other Miscellaneous Plans are contained in Consignment P2. All plans are contained in a single File VEO. This reflects the arrangement of plans on the original DVD.

    The County and Parish Index is contained in Consignment P3. The index was originally part of the Soldier Settlement/Closer Settlement DVD. The plans that comprise the index have been separated out by PROV for ease of location and use. All plans (four only) are contained in a single File VEO.


    MANAGEMENT BY THE AGENCY

    Plans were originally imaged by the agency using a proprietary format known as MrSid (Multi Resolution Seamless Image Database). The format was developed and patented by a North American company known as LizardTech. PROV converted the images to PDF for purposes of long-term preservation in accordance with the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS).

    PROV received the plans on a series of DVDs created for purposes of distribution to interested parties, including the public. Management of the images by the Bendigo regional office, and other regional offices, for administrative purposes, is subject to further research.

    Parish and township plans were arranged in alphabetical order on the first eleven discs. Discs were labelled Regional Land Office Plans Disc 1 of 12 (A - Bl), Regional Land Office Plans Disc 2 of 12 (Bo - Ca), and so on. This arrangement was simply based on the storage capacity of each disc. Disc 12 contained plans other than the Parish and Township plans and was labelled Regional Land Office Plans Disc 12 of 12 (Soldier Settlement, Closer Settlement) (County and other Miscellaneous Plans). Plans from the different regions were intermingled in both the Parish and Township discs and the Soldier Settlement (etc) disc. An additional thirteenth disc was also transferred containing plans from the Bairnsdale Regional Office. This disc was labelled Regional Land Office Plans (Bairnsdale). It is believed the plans on this disc were simply left out of the main body of the collection due to an oversight. Plans on this disc were inter-sorted into the main body of the collection by PROV after checking with the Bendigo regional land office.


    ORIGINAL PLANS - RECORDKEEPING SYSTEMS

    The recordkeeping systems relating to the original physical plans in this series have not been documented as part of this series. Further information may be obtained by reference to the PROV Lands Guide and to any series relating to the plans or schemes that may have been registered in the PROV catalogue.

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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 ? 1837 - ? 2004 Open N/A
P0002 ? 1837 - ? 2004 Open N/A
P0003 ? 1837 - ? 2002 Open N/A
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