Series VPRS 12800
Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series ? 1920 - ? 2000
  Series in Custody ? 1900 - Circa 2000
  Contents ? 1900 - Circa 2000
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
? 1920 - 1983 Victorian Railways (also Victorian Railways Commissioners 1883-1973, Victorian Railways Board 1973-1983) VA 2876
1983 - 1989 State Transport Authority VA 1038
1983 - 1989 Metropolitan Transit Authority VA 1044
1989 - 1999 Public Transport Corporation VA 2984
1999 - 2000 Department of Infrastructure VA 3971
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2014 - cont Public Transport Victoria VA 4968
2014 - cont Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure VA 5003
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    PROV is currently in the process of processing items of the former Public Transport Corporation Photographic Collection. All of the negatives in the various processed consignments of this series have been imaged and can be accessed online. Due to their fragility, the original negatives have been closed to public inspection as a protective conservation measure under section 11 of the Public Records Act.

    The online images can be searched and accessed through a database index on the PROV website. To access this database please refer the following PROVguides on the PROV website and click on the relevant links within them.

    - PROVguide 69, The Public Transport Corporation Photographic Collection Online or
    - PROVguide 23, Online Catalogue PROV Digitised Records and Online Indexes

    Please note that a search result in the index will lead to images held in any of the series held in the former PTC Photographic Collection that has been digitised and not just this series (ie VPRS 12800).

    Other consignments of images from this series will eventually become available. The Function/Content section below identifies the sequence of negatives that will eventually be processed. In order to access negatives still to be processed in this series please contact the PROV Reading Room.

  • Function / Content
    This series consists of photographic negatives created by the agencies responsible for managing the Victorian railways. It encompasses black and white/colour, film, glass plate and transparency negatives. Images depicted in this series include trains, rolling stock, stations, publicity pictures and other railway facilities.

    Between c 1990 and June 2000, all of the items in this series were maintained within a Photographic Collection that had been established by the Public Transport Corporation. This series is one of a number of series that have been created following transfer of the Photographic Collection to PROV.

    This particular series brings together a number of sequences of negatives most of which relate to a broad subject area within discrete and overlapping time frames. These sequences have been brought together to form this particular series because all were created as part of a similar record keeping process utilising an alpha numeric method of arrangement and control.

    In order to facilitate access and contribute to their long term preservation, Photographic Collection staff began in 1999 imaging a number of the negatives in this series. This program of imaging has been continued by PROV.

    ALPHA NUMERIC SEQUENCES AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE RESEARCH

    The specific sequence and the consignment that has been processed and which can be viewed online is:

    'H' (Historical) negatives: (held in the P1 consignment)

    This sequence consists mostly of black and white film and glass plate negatives. It also includes a number of copy negatives made of negatives from other sequences found elsewhere in this and other Photographic Collection series.

    Negatives in this sequence depict engines, carriages, stations, facilities, people (mostly portraits of Railways staff) and events (such as railway accidents and Royal visits) deemed to be "historical". Some images depict Victorian Railways documents such as tickets, timetables, notices, menu cards, instructions and rules. Also included are negatives showing overseas images, presumably taken from publications.

    These negatives were numbered H1000 - H5568. No negatives were allocated numbers within the range H1 - H999. It is unclear when this numbering sequence commenced. One possibility is that the sequence was initially put together as part of the production of a publication relating to the history of Victoria's railways such as Leo Harrigan's "VR to 62". Images continued to be added to this sequence until 2000.

    A number of the images have not been dated. The dates included in the descriptions of negatives in this sequence are mostly of the subjects. The earliest subject in this sequence goes back to the 1830's. (The very few images of this era are invariably of overseas subjects.) The most recent subject dates from 1988.

    'ADV/ADVT ' (Advertising) negatives: (held in the P3 consignment)

    This sequence dates from c 1920s to c.1939 and consists mostly of black and white glass plate negatives. It encompasses negatives numbered between the range ADV1 - ADV2031.

    Negatives in this sequence depict advertising activities undertaken by the railways. Included are images of advertising hoardings in carriages and at railway facilities such as stations or railway bridges. Images depicting just specific posters are also included.


    'C' (Construction) negatives: (held in the P7 consignment)

    This sequence was created between c 1924 and 1940. It consists mostly of black and white glass plates and encompasses negatives numbered between the range C1 - C1200. This sequence shows the construction of a variety of railways related facilities, although images showing the construction of railway bridges, track and grain storage dominate.

    'CEE' (Chief Electrical Engineer) negatives [including 'EE' (Electrical Engineer) negatives]: (held in the P6 consignment)

    This sequence dates from ? 1920 to 1975. It consists mostly of black and white glass plates and encompasses negatives numbered between the range: CEE1 - EE1001. (The prefixes 'CEE' and 'EE' were variously used in this sequence but have all been listed with a CEE prefix in the interests of consistency.) Images depict work overseen or undertaken by electrical engineers and a technical in nature. A number of images were accompanied with quite vague or general descriptions.

    'RS' (Rolling Stock) negatives: (held in the P4 consignment)

    This sequence dates from c1920 to 1968. The sequence consists mostly of black and white glass plate negatives numbered RS1 - RS1972. Negatives in this sequence are dominated by images of train carriages, locomotives, vans and wagons.

    'S', also known as 'SIG' (Signal) negatives: (held in the P5 consignment)

    This sequence dates from ? 1900 - ? 1970. It consists mostly of black and white film negatives numbered between the range S1 - S1399. (The alphabetical prefixes 'S' and 'SIG' were variously used and to ensure consistency of listing have all been listed as having a 'S' prefix.) Negatives in this sequence depict elements of the railways signalling system such as flashing lights, boom gates and barriers.

    ALPHA NUMERIC SEQUENCES TO BE PROCESSED

    Other sequences of negatives to be processed as part of this series are:

    'CB' (Construction Branch) negatives

    This sequence was created between December 1966 and December 1968. It consists mostly of black and white film and encompasses negatives numbered between the range CB1 - C1109.

    'CN' (Colour Negative) negatives, and 'CNF' (Colour Negative Feature) negatives:

    This sequence was created over roughly the same period. The CN negatives date by August 1959 to November 1969 and encompasses negatives numbered CN1 - CN385. The CNF negatives date from 1962 - March 1971 and numbered CNF1 - CNF 615

    'F' (Miscellaneous?) negatives

    This sequence was established by August 1949 and continued to July 1970. It consists mostly of black and white 2 and a quarter inch square negatives. The meaning of the 'F' prefix is unclear. It is possible that it signified photographs taken for features for publication in Victorian Railways magazines and other publications. (The M sequence was created to deal with the larger 5 by 4 inch negatives.). It encompasses negatives numbered between the range F1 - F4124.

    'L' (1954 Royal Tour) negatives

    This sequence was created in 1954 and consists of 35mm black and white film negatives. The sheets of filmstrips in this series were numbered L1 to L17.

    'M' (Miscellaneous) negatives

    This sequence dates between 1946 and 1967. It consists mostly of black and white film 5 x 4 inch negatives. (The F sequence above was created to deal with the smaller 2 and a quarter inch square negatives.) The negatives in this sequence were numbered M1 - M10577.

    'PR' (Public Relations) negatives, 'PRC' (Public Relations - Colour) negatives and transparencies

    These negatives were created between 1965 and 1976. The transparencies relate to reproductions made from the colour negatives. The black and white negatives were numbered PR1 - PR9064 and the colour negatives PRC1 - PRC3652

    'U' (Underground) negatives, 'UC' (Underground - Colour) negatives, 'UGC' (Underground Copies) and 'UT' (Underground - Transparency) negatives

    All of these film and transparency negatives deal with the construction history of the Melbourne underground. The black and white negatives were created between March 1971 and January 1984 and were numbered U1 - U7059. The colour negatives were created between June 1971 and March 1985 and were numbered UC1 - UC13,513. The copy negatives date from between July 1973 and October 1980 and bear the numbers UGC1 - UGC15, although a handful of unnumbered negatives were also found with these.

    The transparencies were created between August 1971 and March 1976 and are numbered UT1 - UT1667. As these were not part of the PTC Photographic Collection, they were not transferred to PROV. The transparencies were thought to be with the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop Authority.

    ALPHA NUMERIC SEQUENCES NOT IN CUSTODY OF PROV

    At least two other sequences of negatives were known to have been created. Annotations on the registers to these sequences indicate that these were transferred to the Latrobe Library, State Library of Victoria. These sequences are:

    'P' (Publicity, also known as Scenic) negatives

    The date range and form of negatives in this sequence is unknown and is believed to encompass items numbered within the range P1 - P7869. Copy negatives for a handful of negatives from this sequence can be found within the 'H' (Historical) sequence on the P1 consignment of this series.

    'T' negatives

    The date range and form of negative for this sequence is unknown. The only evidence for the existence of this series comes from an index which identifies negatives from within a sequence numbered T1 - T550.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The various sequences of negatives originally created by the recording agencies have been maintained within the various consignments of this series.

    Negatives within each sequence are arranged in number order. Each negative contains an alpha-numeric number comprising an alpha character and a number. The alpha character identifies the relevant sequence that in most cases identifies a broad subject area or possibly even the relevant unit within the creating agency. The sequential number identifies the order in which the negative was added to the sequence. The alpha-numeric number is to be found on either the negative itself or the covers in which it has been enclosed.

    Control records (i.e indexes or registers) were created for a number of these sequences. By comparing the range of entries contained in these control records it can be concluded that the contents of some sequences in this series are incomplete.

    All of the imaged negatives were linked to a computer control system originally established to control the former PTC Photographic Collection. Information was entered into this system from the original extant indexes or registers records. The lists in Consignments contain the information that has been migrated from these control records.

    High resolution, archival quality digital images are contained in VPRS 15052 Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha Numeric system [Digitised Series - Archival Quality Master]. The P2 consignment contains low resolution copies of the 'Historical' negatives from the P1 consignment.

More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide069 Public Transport Photographic Collection Online
    VPRS 12800/P1 Alpha-Numeric Railway Negative Systems
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
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
P0001 ? 1900 - 2000 Part Open 314
P0003 Circa 1920 - Circa 1939 Closed 170
P0004 ? 1920 - 1968 Closed 127
P0005 ? 1900 - ? 1970 Closed 70
P0006 ? 1920 - ? 1975 Closed 105
P0007 Circa 1924 - 1940 Closed 51
P0008 1920 - 1968 Closed 5
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide069 Public Transport Photographic Collection Online
    VPRS 12800/P1 Alpha-Numeric Railway Negative Systems