Series VPRS 3523
Criminal Trial Brief Register I
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series ? 1855 - 1891
  Series in Custody 1855 - 1982
  Contents 1855 - 1891
Public Access: 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
1855 - 1891 Office of the Victorian Government Solicitor (previously known as the Office of the Crown Solicitor) VA 667
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1983 - cont Office of Public Prosecutions (Known as Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-1995) VA 2550
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Researchers should use the microfiche copy of the registers (P1 consignment).

    The microfiche are arranged chronologically. Within each year the first fiche is an alphabetical index of names of defendants.

    Consult the index for the year you require and note the number of the page on which details of the registration of the case are recorded.

    Consult that page in the register and note the case number of the defendants trial brief.

    Then consult the Records Description List for VPRS 30 to find the unit which contains the trial brief.

  • Function / Content
    These registers control criminal trial briefs in VPRS 30.

    Entries in the registers consist of:
    No. of Case,
    No. of Prisoner,
    Prisoner's Name,
    If on bail,
    Offence,
    Committed,
    Where - When,
    Witness for the Crown,
    Day of Trial,
    Verdict, and
    Sentence.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Criminal Trial Brief files were originally arranged in two separate sequences which would ordinarily have been identified and registered as separate archival series.

    Period 1841-1891: During this period files were arranged primarily according to the year and court (trial) location with individual briefs numbered sequentially within each month.

    Brief numbers were allocated from this series of registers (VPRS 3523), a microfiche copy of which has been created for reference purposes. Registers in custody date only from 1855. It is not known whether registers were created prior to this date or whether the method of arrangement commenced at this date, and all files created up to that time were put into a new arrangement.

    The register volumes are arranged chronologically from 1855 to 1891 (the volume for the year 1873 was missing at the time of transfer to the Public Record Office) and entries within the registers are arranged numerically by Court District and Date of Court Session.

    Each Register is divided into sections. Each section records the criminal trial cases heard in a particular court for each session. Each case is numbered - this number does not relate to all cases heard for that year in all courts but rather relates to the Court District and Session. Cases heard at Melbourne General Sessions Court and Melbourne Supreme Court are at the front of the registers followed by the County Courts.

    Registers which record details of criminal trial briefs prior to 1855 have not been identified. Researchers should use VPRS 6933 Uhl Index to locate pre 1855 briefs.

    Period 1892-1961: From 1892 an annual single number was allocated upon receipt of the original depositions after the committal. Under this system, each file is numbered sequentially within each year: thus the first received in 1892 is numbered 1892/1. This system has remained relatively constant in the years since, although during the 1960's and 1970's all files relating to incomplete cases were allocated a new file number on the advent of the new calendar year.

    Until 1961 file numbers for this sequence were allocated from a series of bound registers (VPRS 3524), a microfiche copy of which has been created.

    Each criminal case has been given an annual single registration number. This number appears in the "No. of Case" column. Note that cases not heard in a particular year were re-numbered at the start of the next year.

    Period 1962 - ct: Use of the bound registers was discontinued in 1962 in favour of a card register (VPRS 8086) arranged in file number order.

    A card index arranged alphabetically by surname of the accused was also created at this time but was discarded at the end of 1987 when a computer system was introduced. As at January 1994, this card index is in the custody of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Micrographic Copies (P1 Consignment)

    For preservation reasons the registers were microfilmed in 1982. The P1 consignment contains the reference copies of the microfiche. The microfiche copy does not contain the register for 1879 (refer to the P3 consignment) which was not in archival custody when the microfiche were created.

    The microfiche copies were reprocessed from VPRS 3998 into this series in 1998 and VPRS 3998 was cancelled.

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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
1855 - 1891 Criminal Trial Briefs VPRS 30
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
- 1892 Criminal Trial Brief Register II VPRS 3524
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
P0000 1855 - 1891 Open 32
P0001 1855 - 1891 Closed 0
P0002 1855 - 1891 Open 32
P0003 1879 - 1879 Closed 1
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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