Series VPRS 44
Inward Registered and Unregistered Correspondence
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series ? 1839 - ? 1896
  Series in Custody 1839 - 1896
  Contents 1839 - 1930
Public Access: Part 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
1839 - 1851 Superintendent, Port Phillip District VA 473
1839 - 1851 Surveyor General's Department, Port Phillip Branch (also known as the Melbourne Survey Office) VA 943
1851 - 1853 Colonial Secretary's Office VA 856
1851 - 1857 Surveyor-General's Department VA 2921
1853 - 1857 Crown Lands Department VA 2878
1857 - 1896 Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2013 - cont Office of the Registrar-General and the Office of Titles, (known as Land Victoria 2001 to 2014; Land Use Victoria 2014 - ct.) VA 862
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Step 1

    There are various methods of accessing correspondence in this series, the efficacy of each method depends on the specificity of your research. The options available to researchers are to use VPRS 8670 Microfiche Catalogue to Crown Lands and Survey Files in VPRS 44 (Computer Output Microfiche) or to scan the Records Description List (Date Order) for VPRS 44.

    The microfiche catalogue is useful for identifying particular items in VPRS 44 where the file number of the correspondence is known. Therefore, unless the correspondence file number is already known because it has been cited elsewhere, the original control records (the registers and indexes created by the creating agencies to control and retrieve the correspondence) must be used to identify the file numbers of items of interest prior to using this catalogue.

    Researchers who do not wish to locate a particular file number or who wish to browse the contents of VPRS 44 are advised to use the Records Description List to VPRS 44 (located in the Series Description Folders of each Search Room) which has been arranged in date of correspondence order and which gives a brief description of files and correspondence in many instances.

    Step 2

    If you wish to scan the Records Description List turn to the pages which follow this description. The information on this list was transcribed from the original typed list and then resorted into date of correspondence order.

    Step 3

    For instructions regarding the use of the microfiche catalogue see the series description for VPRS 8670. If you need to use the original control records, VPRS 226, VPRS 227 and VPRS 228, see the descriptions for these series.

    Step 4

    Refer to Appendix 6 of the Lands Manual 1989 if you are looking for pre 1856 correspondence to/from a particular surveyor. This appendix lists surveyors and assistant surveyors alphabetically by surname and details the unit numbers where their correspondence is located.

  • Function / Content
    This series consists of inward registered and unregistered correspondence received by the various agencies historically responsible for "lands" functions in Victoria. Over time these records were accumulated and transferred as each agency became defunct and passed responsibility to the next administration. Therefore VPRS 44 in reality contains records from many different agencies' correspondence registry systems. In addition many correspondence items in VPRS 44 appear to have been sent to the "lands" agencies from other government departments in relation to particular "lands" transactions but do not appear to have been registered as correspondence received by the lands agency.

    Although the major component of the series spans the years 1839-1878, some files date into the 20th century.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The original order of the records in VPRS 44 was severely disrupted by time and storage moves at the Lands Department. Not only was the arrangement of files to files disrupted, but also the relationship between items on files (ie. letters). As "dockets" were broken and split retrieval using the original methods (the 19th century registers and indexes) was hampered.

    In order to rectify this a project to re-box and re-list all correspondence in VPRS 44 was undertaken by the Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands with National Estate Project funding in 1986/87. As part of the process of listing each file an attempt was made to identify the "registry system" it belonged to. In this way, having linked items to the registry system they were registered in, the original control records could be used to identify and retrieve correspondence in VPRS 44.
    For the purpose of classification and retrieval a number was allocated to each registry system, refer to the end of this series description for a list of registry systems and numbers.

    The catalogue gives the registered number of each file held in the series together with a date which is usually built into the file number. Geographical details are also recorded in some instances. The majority of files in VPRS 44 must be traced by consulting correspondence indexes and registers to obtain file numbers before using the microfiche catalogue. The catalogue then gives the unit number of each item so the files can be retrieved.

    The files in VPRS 44 were re-boxed during compilation of the catalogue because many of the original boxes were over packed. Researchers who have previously cited files in the series will need to consult the Records Description List for VPRS 44, Old Unit Number Order, to ascertain in which unit their specific file is now located.

    CONTENTS AND SUBJECT CLASSIFICATIONS USED

    The earliest material in VPRS 44 generally comprises surveyors' correspondence, reflecting the initial survey work in the Port Phillip District. This correspondence covers specific surveys, routine administrative procedures, and the difficulties encountered by field surveyors. Sometimes the letters include official survey reports, progress journals, plans, requisitions for supplies, pay abstracts (listing members of survey parties), etc. Sales by auction - a major method of Crown Land disposal during the 1840s and 1850s - are documented in both surveyors' correspondence and schedules of sales. Other subject classifications used during the early years of the administration include: Employment Applications/Staff Matters; Commissioners of Crown Lands; Police Magistrates; General Correspondence. The series includes surveyor's reports, schedules (eg. land sale and selection) and plans.

    After 1855 (responsible government) an increase in correspondence and subject classifications reflects the development of new administrative structures and responsibilities. Bundles of correspondence on Municipal Matters, the Geological Survey, Contract Surveys, Land for Selection, Valuation of Improvements, etc. mark the growing activity in survey and settlement. This diversity of subject classifications increased with the Land Acts of the 1860s.

    From 1860, some matters previously grouped under surveyors' correspondence (eg. pastoral runs, reserves, roads), as well as those arising from the new legislation, are allocated separate subject classifications. Departmental business included issues such as: Common; Roads; Parks and Reserves; Land Boards; Trespass and Illegal Occupation; Licences for Business Sites (eg. stores) and Quarries; Punt and Ferry Licences; Residence and Cultivation Licences; Pre-emptive Rights; Inquires and Rulings re Land Acts etc. Transactions under particular sections of the Acts are covered, eg. section 47 Land Act 1862 (novel industries), section 42 Land Act 1865 and section 49 Land Act 1869 (goldfields), section 40 Land Act 1869 (sales of detached strips of land).

    Staff Matters, Applications for Sale, Transactions relating to Selectors, General, and Surveyors' correspondence, are recurring categories throughout VPRS 44. Letters from government offices are often collected together into specific subject bundles, eg. Treasurer, Secretary for Mines/Mines Department. Reports and evidence from Boards of Enquiry on Departmental matters can also be found in the series, eg. embezzlement of Departmental revenue by Hugh O'Farrall in 1873.

    LIST OF REGISTRY SYSTEMS AND NUMBERS USED TO IDENTIFY THEM IN THE CATALOGUE

    Registry numbers roughly equate with an agency's recordkeeping system. From the list below identify the agency which is most likely to have created the records you are seeking. Note: 95% of the records in VPRS 44 are from Registry System 7, which relates to Lands Department General Registry correspondence for the period 1856 - 1876. Researchers will also need to refer to VPRS 226 and VPRS 227 to access specific correspondence for this period. For Lands Department general registry correspondence for the period 1876 - 1896 see Registry System 8 and use VPRS 228. Where original control records for other registry systems have been identified these have been listed in Appendix 5 of the Lands Manual 1989.


    No., Registry System, Date

    1 Superintendent of Port Phillip District: Inward Correspondence, 1839-1851

    2 Land Branch (of Colonial Secretary's Office): Inward Correspondence, 1847-1852

    3 Colonial Secretary's Office/Chief Secretary's Office: Inward Correspondence, 1851-1874

    4 Chief Commissioner of Crown lands: Inward Correspondence, 1854-1855

    5 Surveyor-General: Inward Correspondence from Colonial Secretary, 1854-1855

    6 Surveyor-General: Inward Correspondence other than from Colonial Secretary, 1854-1855

    7 Lands (Department) General Registry: Inward Correspondence, 1856-1876

    8 Lands (Department) Alphabetical Registry: Inward Correspondence, 1876-1896

    9 Lands (Department), Occupation Branch: Inward Correspondence, 1874-1875

    10 Surveyor-in-Charge/Surveyor-General: Outward Correspondence, 1842-1851

    11 Portland Survey Office and District: Inward and Outward Correspondence (includes outward registered letters and unregistered material. NOTE: Some letters to Surveyor-General from Portland can be found under system 19), 1847-1861
    (1870)

    12 Colonial Secretary (Land Branch): Outward Correspondence to Surveyor-General, 1851-1854

    13 Colonial Treasurer: Outward Correspondence, 1851

    14 Colonial Secretary (Finance Branch): Outward Correspondence, 1853

    15 Williamstown Survey Office: Outward Correspondence, 1854-1856

    16 Geelong Survey Office & District: Outward Correspondence (NOTE: Some letters to Surveyor-General from Geelong can be found under system 19), 1852-1855
    1859

    17 Commissioner of Crown Lands Westernport District: Inward Correspondence (unregistered), 1853

    18 Police Office Kilmore (Clerk of Petty Sessions): Outward Correspondence of Chief Commissioner of Crown Lands and Commissioner of Crown Lands Westernport District (registered and unregistered), 1853

    19 Office of Surveyor-in-Charge/Surveyor-General: Inward Correspondence, mainly from officers in the field, eg. Surveyors (registered and unregistered). NOTE: When file numbers are listed they indicate either the original number on the back of the actual letter or the number on the cover. Many of the files were grouped according to sender or subject, and renumbered on their covers, 1848-1856

    20 Commissioner of Crown Lands Murray District (Police Magistrate Benalla): Inward Correspondence (unregistered), 1853-1854

    21 Assistant Surveyor Wilmot: Outward Correspondence to Surveyor-General, 1854-1855

    22 Commissioner of crown Lands & Survey: Outward Correspondence to Surveyor-General, 1855

    23 Police Magistrates, Regional Offices: Outward Correspondence to Surveyor-General, 1855

    24 Taradale Survey Office and District: Outward Correspondence, 1855-1856

    25 Sandhurst Survey Office and District: Outward Correspondence, 1855 (1857)

    26 Lands, 'A.B.' (Account Branch): Outward Correspondence, 1858, 1860, 1861, 1863

    27 Lands, 'L.B.' (?): Outward Correspondence, 1856

    28 Lands, 'S.B.' (?): Outward Correspondence, 1856

    29 Lands, 'G.B.' (?): Outward Correspondence, 1856-1870

    30 Lands, 'S.B.' (Sale Branch?): Outward Correspondence, 1856

    31 Lands, 'C.F.B.' (?): Outward Correspondence, 1856

    32 Treasurer: Inward and Outward Correspondence, 1856-1874

    33 Secretary for Railways: Inward Correspondence, 1858-1870

    34 President of the Board of Land and Works: Inward Correspondence (NOTE: The numbers on the file covers are not listed as they only indicate the sequential/chronological ordering of files when grouped according to sender or subject), 1858-1859

    35 Executive Council of Victoria: Inward and Outward Correspondence, 1857-1890

    36 Land Occupation Branch: Outward Correspondence, 1859-1860
    1874-1875

    37 Department of Roads and Bridges: Inward Correspondence, 1859-1861

    38 Government Geologist ('G.S.O.'): Inward Correspondence, 1860

    39 R. Brough Smyth
    a) Secretary Board of Science
    b) Secretary Central Board for the Protection of the Aborigines
    c) Secretary for Mines (see also 42-Department of Mines): Inward Correspondence-1860-1861, 1869

    40 Lands: Inward Correspondence (NOTE: These files seem to be mainly applications for selection under various sections of the Land Acts), 1860-1863

    41 Melbourne Lands & Survey Office (Board of Science): Outward Correspondence, 1860

    42 Department of Mines: Inward Correspondence, 1861-1874

    43 Engineer-in-Chief, Railways: Inward Correspondence, 1861-1871

    44 Secretary for Mines/Chief Mining Surveyor: Outward Correspondence, 1861-1876
    45 Central Board for the Protection of the Aborigines: Outward Correspondence, 1861

    46 Government Storekeeper: Inward Correspondence, 1863

    47 Staff Matters/Employment Applications: Inward Correspondence (NOTE: some letters can be found under other systems-chiefly 7 and 19), 1864-1876

    48 Department of Trade and Customs: Inward Correspondence, 1869, 1874

    49 Board of Land and Works: Inward Correspondence, 1865-1866

    50 Lands (Survey Branch): Outward Correspondence, 1865-1866

    51 Inspector-General of Customs: Inward Correspondence, 1865

    52 Applications under Section 42, Land Act 1865, 1865-1869

    53 Applications under Section 47, Land Act 1865, 1862-1865

    54 Inspector-General, Public Works: Inward Correspondence, 1866-1870

    55 Postmaster-General: Inward Correspondence, 1867-1874

    56 Legislative Assembly: Inward Correspondence, 1868

    57 Law Department: Inward Correspondence, 1868-1869

    58 Valuations of Improvements on Land (Note: Some valuations are under system 7; unregistered valuations have not been classified under any system), 1869

    59 Water Supply, Department of Public Works: Inward Correspondence 1868-1871

    60 Water Supply, Department of Public Works: Outward Correspondence 1870

    61 Applications under Section 31 Land Act 1869, 1865-1880

    62 Applications under Section 49 Land Act 1869, 1870-1879

    63 Superintendent of Port Phillip District: Inward Correspondence relating to Aboriginal Affairs-

    64 Registrar of Titles: Inward Correspondence, 1872-1873

    65 Applications under Section 19 Land Act 1869, 1870-1879

    66 Secretary, Railways and Roads, 1876

    67 Applications under Section 33 Land Act 1869

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Displaying 1 to 20 of 23  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 2 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1839 - 1930 Microfiche Catalogue of Crown Lands and Survey Files in VPRS 44 (Computer Output Microfiche) VPRS 8670
1854 - 1855 Register of Inward Correspondence (General) VPRS 14255
1856 - 1876 Registers of Inward Correspondence (Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 227) VPRS 70
1856 - 1876 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence [Microfilm Copy of VPRS 5522] VPRS 226
1856 - 1876 Registers of Inwards Correspondence [Microfilm copy of VPRS 70] VPRS 227
1856 - 1876 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence [Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 226] VPRS 5522
1874 - ? 1875 Register of Inward Correspondence, Beechworth Land District VPRS 14273
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Occupation Branch VPRS 621
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 14271
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14274
1875 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Survey Branch I VPRS 14547
1875 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Kerang Land District VPRS 14276
1876 - ? 1891 Register of Inward Correspondence, Survey Branch II VPRS 14548
1876 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14275
1876 - 1896 Alphabetical Registers of Inwards Correspondence (Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 228) VPRS 166
1876 - 1896 Alphabetical Registers of Inward Correspondence [Microfilm copy of VPRS 166] VPRS 228
1876 - 1903 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 3432
1878 - 1881 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca and Kerang Land Districts VPRS 14277
1878 - 1896 Register of Inward Correspondence, Secretary VPRS 14262
1881 - 1896 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca, Kerang, Beechworth and Omeo Land Districts VPRS 14278
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1854 - 1855 Register of Inward Correspondence (Colonial Secretary 1854 - 1855; Chief Secretary 1855) VPRS 14030
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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
P0000 1839 - 1930 Part Open 779
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Displaying 1 to 20 of 23  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 2 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1839 - 1930 Microfiche Catalogue of Crown Lands and Survey Files in VPRS 44 (Computer Output Microfiche) VPRS 8670
1854 - 1855 Register of Inward Correspondence (General) VPRS 14255
1856 - 1876 Registers of Inward Correspondence (Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 227) VPRS 70
1856 - 1876 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence [Microfilm Copy of VPRS 5522] VPRS 226
1856 - 1876 Registers of Inwards Correspondence [Microfilm copy of VPRS 70] VPRS 227
1856 - 1876 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence [Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 226] VPRS 5522
1874 - ? 1875 Register of Inward Correspondence, Beechworth Land District VPRS 14273
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Occupation Branch VPRS 621
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 14271
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14274
1875 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Survey Branch I VPRS 14547
1875 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Kerang Land District VPRS 14276
1876 - ? 1891 Register of Inward Correspondence, Survey Branch II VPRS 14548
1876 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14275
1876 - 1896 Alphabetical Registers of Inwards Correspondence (Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 228) VPRS 166
1876 - 1896 Alphabetical Registers of Inward Correspondence [Microfilm copy of VPRS 166] VPRS 228
1876 - 1903 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 3432
1878 - 1881 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca and Kerang Land Districts VPRS 14277
1878 - 1896 Register of Inward Correspondence, Secretary VPRS 14262
1881 - 1896 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca, Kerang, Beechworth and Omeo Land Districts VPRS 14278
More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide057 Convict Records
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