||? 1850 - 1980
||Series in Custody
||1850 - 1980
||1850 - 1980
|Format of Records:
|Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series|
|Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series|
|Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series|
- How to use the Records
These records have been described by their letter number and title, extent of the land, parish or township, and allotment and / or section numbers. Browse or search the records listings for items of interest.
The remainder of these instructions are for researchers who don't wish to browse or search the data:
Researchers need to have either a specific file number or details of parish/township, allotment and section number to use VPRS 242 Crown Reserves Correspondence. For retrieving 'X' Series files a file number is required or researchers should browse the list in the microfiche catalogue for files of interest.
If the file number is known, consult the Microfiche catalogue to Crown Lands and Survey Files: File Number Order (VPRS 7311) to find the unit containing the file required. The file number will be recorded on the catalogue along with the VPRS number and unit number.
If the file number is not known consult the Microfiche catalogue to Crown Lands and Survey Files: Parish and Township Order (VPRS 7312). The catalogue is arranged by township and parish. Find the appropriate township or parish then the appropriate allotment and section number. The file number will be recorded on the catalogue along with the VPRS number and unit number.
- Function / Content
This series primarily contains files relating to the proclamation and management of Crown reserves. Many of these files are those for reserves whose status has since been revoked by legislation or by Order-in-Council. Contained in the files are correspondence relating to the management of the reserve, maps or plans of the reserve and copies of documents relating to proclamation, alteration of extent or revocation.
Also included in this series are a number of general correspondence files from the 'X' series. These are files to do with departmental policy and administration, created primarily by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey, from 1960 to 1984. For the remainder of this series in PROV custody, researchers should consult VPRS 11796 General Correspondence Files, 'X' Series.
The first Land Act passed by the Victorian Parliament (the Sale of Crown Lands Act 1860) provided that the Governor-in-Council was able to reserve lands permanently or temporarily for a wide variety of public purposes. This meant that the land was reserved from sale, leasing or licensing and from the provisions of the Mines Act. Legislation relating to Crown reserves remained under the Land Act until the passing of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978. Proclamation of, alterations to and any revocations of reserves were to be published in the Government Gazette. Revocation of permanent reserves was by legislation whilst revocation of temporary reserves was by Order-in-Council.
For permanent reserves, grants were able to be made, in trust, for public purposes such as churches and associated schools and facilities, municipal buildings and facilities such as abattoirs and markets, for recreational uses such as cricket grounds and racecourses and for such uses as cemeteries. Examples of these and pre 1860 grants for special purposes may be found in VPRS 81 Land Grants for Special Purposes. Records may also be found in a number of series to do with grants for special purposes, most particularly VPRS 12706 Alphabetical Index to Crown Grants for Public Purposes.
Management of the provisions of the Land Act relating to reserves was done, from at least 1876 (and possibly prior to that) until c 1920 by the Correspondence Branch of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538). In 1917, it was reported that the Correspondence Branch was also known as the Reserves and Commons Room. From c1920, it would appear that that management passed to the Occupation Branch. In 1978, due to Ministerial dissatisfaction with the management of Crown lands, the Crown Land Management Division was created and was responsible for the broad management of Crown lands including reserves until 1985.
- Recordkeeping System
The contents of the boxes are not in numerical order. Use the Microfiche catalogue to Crown Lands and Survey Files: File Number Order (VPRS 7311) to find the unit containing the file required.
File numbers given from 1856 to 1876 are annual single numbers as was the practice with correspondence at that time. The file number is in the form of year, letter and number e.g. 72/E 2345. The first number indicates the year, the letter indicates the specific volume within that year (volumes being distinguished by an alphabetical designator) in which the registration was made and the final number is the sequential registration number. This original number was placed over the registration number given to new pieces of correspondence on the same subject which were attached to the original piece. Some top-numbering of correspondence did occur, particularly where there were groups of pieces of correspondence separated by time. In this case, the final number (or top number) became the file number.
Between 1856 and 1876, registration numbers are recorded in VPRS 70 Register of Inward Correspondence and indexed by VPRS 5522 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence. In VPRS 5522, references to types of reserves, such as gardens, commons and cemeteries, are grouped in the appropriate alphabetical categories. Volumes in VPRS 70 have been annotated, beside the original correspondence registration, with the twentieth century file numbers relating to a number of long-standing Crown reserves.
File numbers throughout the period 1876 to 1980 were determined by the initial correspondence registration number. Between 1876 and 1896 correspondence was centrally registered in alphabetical registers (see VPRS 166 Alphabetical Registers of Inwards Correspondence). The alphabetical designation corresponded with the name or office of the writer or the office or, in the case of reserves, the type of reserve (eg 'C' for Commons and Cricket Grounds, 'G' for Gardens). Correspondence was then forwarded to the section of the department which would take any actions necessary. For reserves during this period, this was the Correspondence Branch.
At the Correspondence Branch, correspondence was then registered in the Branch subsidiary registers once again in alphabetical sections corresponding to that used for the original registration. Two series of indexes were used to assist in locating this new registration of the forwarded correspondence. ( As of October 2004, both of these series remain in the custody of Lands Victoria.) The first is the Alphabetical Index to Reserves (1876 - 1914). Specific reserves and types and purposes of reserves are listed in alphabetical sections eg commons, powder magazines, cricket grounds, racecourses with the volume and folio of correspondence indexed beside them. The second 14 volume index (1876 - 1919) links the original registration number of the correspondence, which might have been made in any of the alphabetical registers, with the entry in the Correspondence Branch registers and the later 'C series' registers. Each volume is divided into alphabetical sections. Entries are in the form of a number, letter and number sequence e.g. 78/E114. The first number is the year, with the letter (corresponding with the name or category of the correspondent) and second number being the original correspondence registration. Beside this is the volume and folio of the subsidiary register of the Correspondence Branch or, from 1896, of the 'C' register.
As previously, files created between 1876 and 1896 were given an identifier consisting of the correspondence registration number or the top-numbered correspondence number. Top-numbering once again tended to be limited in extent. Files originating in this period have an alpha-numeric identifying file number eg G1234.
In 1896 the correspondence system was changed once more with correspondence now being directly registered by Branches or sections of Branches (as was the case in the Occupation Branch) rather than centrally. The new series of registers is the Registers of Inward Correspondence, 'C' series (1896 - 1980) which at October 2004 remain in the custody of Lands Victoria. All correspondence relating to Crown reserves was registered here and given a sequential number prefixed by a 'C'. This registration number became the original file number. Once again, some top-numbering occurred until it became the practice to assign a fixed 'C' number as the file number to which further relevant correspondence was attached. This change may be dated from the point at which the correspondence registration number and the file number on the face sheet become different, with the file number remaining constant. The attachment of subsequent papers to an existing file was noted to a small extent in the correspondence registers and more fully in the File Registers.
From 1914 a dual system of files was used for Crown reserves. The initial file raised was a 'C' file. If the reservation was not to be ongoing the file remained as a 'C' file. This is noticeable in the late 1940s when it was apparent that Crown reserves were being reviewed, with the revocation either by legislation or by Order-in-Council of a number of them. In all these cases, where no correspondence relating to the reserve had been received for decades, the 'C' file number remained and was the final number for the file.
It is believed that, from 1914, once a reserve was proclaimed and the details were to be published in the Government Gazette an Rs file was created. These Rs files were registered with a permanent number. Registrations are at various times a mixture of new proclamations and of old ones where new business concerning those reserves brought them to the attention of registry staff and the Rs file was then created. Most often the first entry in the file management markings was the number of a C file or of a file or piece of registered correspondence forwarded from another Branch or section as denoted by the alpha-numeric correspondence registration number. It was reported in 1917 that each Rs file also had a card (or cards) which were indexed under parish and locality and in some cases, type of reservation. Some of those cards or later versions of them may have survived with the post - 1943 file movement cards.
This system of 'C' and 'Rs' files continued until 1980 at least - probably until c 1985. From at least 1876, file numbers were recorded in all entries in the Government Gazette to do with the proclamation, alteration or revocation of reserves.
The General Correspondence Files, 'X' Series are identified by an X prefix and a number. These are controlled by VPRS 14640 Numerical Index Cards, General Correspondence Files 'X' Series and VPRS 14641 Subject Index cards, General Correspondence Files, 'X' Series.
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