Life Data: Computerised System for the Registration, Indexing and Retrieval of Births, Deaths and Marriages Information
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- How to use the Records
As at November 2004 no records from this series had been transferred to Public Record Office Victoria. The means of retrieving information from this series is subject to research.
Pending transfer of this series, microfiche indexes to births, deaths and marriages available in the Reading Room may be used as indexes to births, deaths and marriages.
- Function / Content
This computerised system registered and indexed births, deaths and marriages in Victoria recorded from 1989, and issued the information about these that the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages provided to members of the public.
As well all registration data for registrations from 1989 to the present, as at June 2002, the system contained the following types and date ranges of data for births, deaths and marriages up to 1989:--
-- births: images of all birth registations from 1837 to 1928 and indexing information for these
-- deaths: images of all registrations 1837 to1989 and indexing information for these
-- marriages: No information/data for marriages is registered. Marriage certificates issued are numbered and imaged 1837 to ct.
For more information see the "Record Keeping System" section below.
- Recordkeeping System
This computer system, known as Life Data, commenced in 1989. It replaced the microfiche indexes of births, deaths and marriages and the paper registers of births and deaths that had been in use until then. However, some paper records continued to be employed in registrations after the commencement of the Life Data system.
Among the components that made up the system's data were indexes to births, deaths and marriages registration records and the records themselves. The indexes were of pre-1989 records. When Life Data was introduced existing records were brought into the system as follows
-- births: complete registration data for all births from 1929, images of the paper records 1837 to 1928, and indexes to the images
-- deaths: images of the paper records 1837 to 1989, and indexes to the images
-- marriages: no data about earlier marriages was entered into the system. marriage certificates are numbered and imaged.
Complete registration data relating to the earlier births, deaths and marriages was added to the database as required -- see below. As a result, the system includes complete data for some registrations earlier than the date ranges outlined above.
The administrative processes for registering, indexing and providing information to the public about births, deaths and marriages are outlined below.
Notification was received from informants (parents or relatives) on information forms (see VPRS 10261 If the form was incomplete it was returned for completion.
If the birth was being registered within 12 months, on receipt of the completed form the form was stamped with the next available registration number. Information from the form, including the number, was then keyed into the Life Data system.
If the birth was being registered after 12 months the process was similar, except that information from the form was keyed into Life Data without a registration number having been stamped on the form. The Life Data system allocated the registration number.
In either case, the forms were filed in numerical order.
As at June 2002 all birth notifications were received in paper form.
Three separate items were required for registration of a death. The Notice of Death was completed by the informant and forwarded by the undertaker. The notification of burial or disposal of the body was forwarded by the undertaker, school of anatomy, etc. Information about the cause of death, usually in the form of a medical certificate or coroner's report, was also received.
Although all these forms would be registered with separate document numbers, the death registration number would be allocated on receipt of the Notice of Death.
Some or all of these notifications could be received in either paper or electronic form. If the Notice of Death was received in paper form it was stamped with the next available number from an annual single number sequence beginning at 1 each year. If the Notice of Death was lodged electronically the Life Data system allocated the next available annual single number from a sequence that started at 40,000 in each year.
If all the notifications for a single death were lodged electronically the Life Data system matched them on the basis of dates and names. Any notifications that could not be matched, for example because of differences in spelling, were checked and matched manually.
Marriage certificates were received from celebrants. They were checked for completion and, if complete, were stamped with the next available number. They were then indexed by bride's name, groom's name, parents' names and the date and place of marriage. The certificates were then filed in numerical order.
Amending previously registered births, deaths and marriages
If a registration record had to be changed a copy, called a "maintenance record," was created in the Life Data system. The changes were made to the copy and then the maintenance record was "applied," ie it became the record of the registration.
Providing information about births, deaths and marriages
Life Data includes registration information for all births from 1929, images of births from 1837 to 1928 and an index to the images.
If a record of a pre-1929 birth was requested for family history, the index of images would be searched and the image of the original registration record retrieved. A printout of the image would be provided to the researcher. If a pre-1929 birth record was requested for an official purpose, the image would be retrieved, information from the image would be keyed into the Life Data system and a printout from the system would be provided to the applicant.
For records of 1989 or later births, a printout based on the computer data was provided.
If a record of a pre-1989 death was requested the index to images would be searched, the image located and a printer of the image provided to the researcher. For records of 1989 or later deaths, a printout based on the computer data was provided.
A printout of the image was provided.
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