If you are interested in joining the North Melbourne volunteer program at Public Record Office Victoria, the first step is to attend an information session. Register here for our next session, at 11am on Tuesday 1 May. The program operates on weekdays and prospective volunteers need basic computer skills.

Over 160 Public Record Office Victoria volunteers help us preserve our state’s records by:

  • removing old packing materials and processing records into new boxes, bags or sleeves
  • aiding discovery of records by creating indexes or searchable data
  • adding value to records through digitising or even transcribing the text of the records themselves.

Current volunteer projects


Project: Digitising Inquest Deposition Files (1926-1937)


Especially popular with genealogists and medical researchers this project also builds on the 1840-1925 records which have already been digitisedImaging 100% | Publishing 0%; est. completion date 2017


Project: Indexing Inquest Deposition Files (1840-1937 and 1938-1985)

Inquest record

Inquest records from 1840 to 1937 are being digitised for online availability. This index will help you find inquest records, whether or not they've been digitised. They’re among the most popular records in the Victorian archives. 1840-1937: Indexing 100% | Checking index 100% | Publishing 99%; 1938-1985: Indexing 50% | Checking index 0% | Publishing 0% | Est. completion date 2018



Project: Original Papers Tabled in the Legislative Assembly

Parliament buildings

Volunteers are listing 1331 boxes of petitions, returns, messages, division lists, writs, ministerial papers, committee reports, evidence and estimates tabled in the Legislative Assembly. Processing 60% | Data Capture 60% | Publishing 15% | Est.  completion date 2018.  



Project: Crown Reserves Correspondence


Volunteers are indexing 1041 boxes of correspondence between the Department of Crown Lands and people, private companies, community groups and government agencies about land reserved for churches and associated schools and facilities, municipal buildings, markets, sports grounds, cemeteries and other uses. Processing 89% | Data Capture 89% | Publishing 0% | Est.  completion date 2018.  



Project: Historic Plan Collection

Historic plan of North Melbourne

This project will digitise over 11,500 plans in 48 distinct collections, including pastoral runs, explorer routes, roads and river systems. Arguably the most valuable collection of plans in Australia. Indexing 100% | Imaging 55% | Publishing 43% | Est. completion date 2018.



Project: Public Works Department Plans
Public works

Over 200,000 plans depict government department offices, schools, hospitals, bridges and more. The project aims to create searchable data to improve researcher access and repackage the records to increase their longevity. Processing 57% | Data Capture 57% | Publishing 50% | Est.  completion date 2020. 



Project: Civil Case Files (1861-1919)

Civil case cover

Civil case files record the outcomes of disputes over failure to pay debts, non-performance of contracts, personal injury and other complaints. Indexing these records will enable easy discoverability of records of over 150,000 cases heard in the Supreme Court in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Project completed January 2018!


Project: Insolvency records (1863-1871)

Insolvency record cover







Insolvency records document the formal person of declaring a person unable to repay their debts in full, and include proof submitted by creditors and statements of the cause of an insolvency. Indexing these records will enable easy discoverability of records of over 6,000 cases heard in the Supreme Court in the late nineteenth century. Processing 59% | Data Capture 59% | Publishing 20%