Are you having trouble understanding some of the archival terminology used throughout our site? Common terms are underlined throughout our website so all you have to do is click on the word and you should be able to see the definition.
Some of the key terms you should know include:
What is an index?
Indexes are important for archival research as it may include the name or file number you need. An index is often an alphabetised, or other sequential list, which refers the reader to a final set of records which are arranged in a different (often numerical) sequence. They are your key to finding a record. Often an index is a separate archival record and lists simple details like the last name, the subject, or the date, and then next to that listing will be a file number pointing you to the item. Some are digitised but many need to be requested and viewed in a reading room.
What is a series?
Record Series: A group of records which are recorded or maintained by the same agency (or agencies) and which are in the same numerical, alphabetical, chronological or another identifiable sequence, or result from the same accumulation or filing process, e.g. Admission Register of Patients.
Each Records Series is allocated a Victorian Public Records Series number (VPRS). PROV provides descriptions for each record series to help you understand the context of records, how to find records within the records series, why, when and by whom they were created.