Communications Officer Tara Oldfield

Author: Tara Oldfield

Communications Officer

Ballarat rate books housed at the Ballarat Archives Centre

The historic rate books held at Ballarat Archives Centre close Ballarat Archives Centre Definition The Public Record Office Victoria repository and reading room in Ballarat. are some of our most popular regional records. They include rates from Ballarat and surrounding suburbs and are a fantastic resource for those researching the history of their home. The records include rate payments on properties, name of owner, description of property, annual value and credits for amount of payments and arrears. 

On the 5th of July we transferred rate books held in Ballarat to the Victorian Archives Centre close Victorian Archives Centre Definition This is the main repository for Victorian government archives and the offices of Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) and National Archives Australia (NAA) Victoria branch. There is a joint reading room at the centre between PROV and the NAA at 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne. in North Melbourne for our volunteers to digitise. The digitised records will gradually be made available online over the next twelve months for researchers to access close access Definition Refers either to the process of providing records for researchers to use in PROV reading rooms, or to the process of determining if records should or should not be withheld from researchers for a period of time. no matter where they are in the world.

We are expecting the digitisation work to be completed by the 15th of September at which point the records will be transferred back to Ballarat and available to order close order Definition Physical records can be ordered for viewing in PROV’s reading rooms.  When a user orders a record, it is reserved solely for their use. as usual from the Ballarat Archives Centre. In the meantime, these records are unavailable to researchers. 


Digitisation in action

You can see here our volunteers hard at work digitising the records. Some of the rate books were so large, as is the case in the first photo, that the camera used to photograph the record had to be moved almost up to the ceiling! 


Photo of a man photographing a rate book using special scanning equipment


Photo of a man photographing a rate book using special scanning equipment


Photo of a man photographing a rate book using special scanning equipment


Photo of a man photographing a rate book using special scanning equipment


Historic homes research

Are you embarking on renovations and want to pay respect to your home’s heritage? Maybe you’re just keen to find out who built the house or who lived there long before you did? This research guide, developed in collaboration with Ballarat City Council, provides an introduction to what government records can reveal when trying to discover the hidden history of a home. Get familiar with this guide and once the Ballarat rate books are returned in September you can get researching!