Series VPRS 3686
Pre-Metric Building Plans
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1853 - ? 1996
  Series in Custody 1836 - 1999
  Contents 1836 - 1999
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
1853 - 1855 Colonial Secretary's Office VA 856
1855 - 1987 Public Works Department (previously the Department of the Commissioner of Public Works) VA 669
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1992 - cont Public Record Office [also known as Public Record Office Victoria from c.1996] VA 683
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    The records in P1 are being gradually reprocessed in consignments P5 to P31, a separate consignment for each category of plans. The completed consignments are:

    P5 Bridges and Roads
    P6 State Schools Old (SSO)
    P7 State Schools New (SSN)
    P8 State Schools (SS)
    P9 State Secondary Schools Old (SSSO)
    P10 State Schools Secondary New (SSSN)
    P11 State Schools Secondary Standards
    P12 Technical Schools (TS)
    P13 High Schools (HS)
    P14 Universities and Colleges (UC)
    P17 Mental Hospitals (MH)
    P19 Government Buildings
    P20 Civil Plans

    The consignments still to be completed are:

    P15 Police Stations (PS)
    P16 Prisons and Goals (PG)
    P18 Law Courts (LC)
    P21 Drainage
    P22 Electrical
    P23 Mechanical
    P24 Ventilation
    P25 Imperial Survey
    P26 A Series
    P27 B Series
    P28 C Series
    P29 D Series
    P30 E Series
    P31 F and P Series

  • Function / Content
    This series consists of original pre-metric building plans created by VA 669 Public Works Department and micrographic copies of the plans created between 1981 and 1987.

    The plans relate to works carried out by this Department on buildings which it designed and/or constructed. These include government department offices, schools, hospitals and police stations. The series is an accumulation of plans and includes block plans, site plans, roof plans and plans for drainage, fire escapes, gas and water supply, ventilation, electrical and mechanical works.

    Each plan has a registration number, plan name and date.

    This series ended in 1973 with the introduction of the metric system of weights and measures.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The descriptions below all refer to actions taken before the reprocessing of the records, commencing in March 2015.

    Plans other than those for electrical, mechanical and ventilation works, created during this period (the `A', `B', `C', `D', `E' and `F' series plans) were arranged according to the size of the plan. Most of these plans have an alpha-numeric registration. The alphabetical prefix indicates the plan size and the number indicates the actual job. An alphabetical suffix found on some plans indicates the type of drawing.

    These plans are indexed by a sequence of cards maintained in the Plan Room identified above. The index provides access to plans found within this portion of VPRS 3686 and the subsequent metric plans (VPRS 3821). There may be a number of cards created for a building, each identifying a particular type of plan.

    Electrical Plans

    Electrical plans were created between 1910 and 1973 and include ceiling or wiring plans, general installation plans and plans for specific appliances such as telephones, fire alarms, air conditioning and exterior lighting.

    Most plans have an alpha-numeric registration such as 59 C 1357. The numerical prefix indicates the year of registration, the alphabetical character denotes plan size and the final number indicates the job.

    Mechanical Plans

    Mechanical plans were created between 1910 and 1973. They relate to the installation of equipment and systems including those for boilers, fuel tanks, refrigeration, heating, gas and water.

    Although the plans were registered within a number of systems, all plans have an alpha-numeric registration such as DH140 or B10/113. An alphabetical suffix on some plans indicates the type of drawing.

    Ventilation Plans

    These plans relate to ventilation works carried out by the department. They include plans for vents, air conditioning units and exhaust systems.

    Most plans have an alpha-numeric registration number such as VB 505. The V indicates ventilation, the second character indicates plan size and the number identifies the job. The registration of some plans includes an alphabetical suffix which indicates the type of drawing.

    The location of the original control records for the electrical, mechanical and ventilation plans is unknown.

    Physical arrangement

    The original plans are physically arranged in bags in registration order - twenty per bag. Each bag contains an inventory of its contents The inventory provides the reference number of each plan, allocated when the plans were filmed, plan name and registration number and indicates whether a plan has been retained by the controlling Department.

    A copy of these inventories is available in the Issues Office, Laverton Repository. Another copy is held in the Plan Room. It is used to identify plan numbers for the pre 1950s plans in the absence of other indexes.

    Microform copy

    The plans in this series have been progressively microfilmed since 1981. The microform copy is in the form of aperture cards see VPRS 3686/P2.

    Context note

    The pre-metric building plans were originally accessioned as four series:
    3686, 6606 (electrical), 6608 (mechanical) and 6893 (ventilation).

    In 1994, as part of the initial preparations for including the PWD plans in the computerised repository management system, a decision to reprocess all pre-metric plans as a single series and consignment was made. See file note dated 21.10.94. This decision was not implemented fully until 1998 as part of the preparations for the relocation of the repository to North Melbourne

    The plans have been reprocessed as VPRS 3686/P1. Series 6606, 6608 and 6893 have been cancelled.

    Aperture Cards

    VPRS 3687,6607,6609 and 6894 have been cancelled. In accordance with current PROV practice, the microform copy of the plans has been reprocessed as the P2 consignment of the hardcopy series. All pre-metric aperture cards are now VPRS 3686/P2.

More research resourcesMore research resources
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1960 - 1987 Card Index to Building Plans VPRS 11926
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
- 1973 Metric Building Plans VPRS 3821
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
P0005 ? 1841 - ? 1994 Open 2735
P0006 ? 1869 - ? 1987 Open 4355
P0007 ? 1873 - ? 1996 Open 2366
P0008 Circa 1904 - Circa 1987 Open 576
P0009 Circa 1876 - Circa 1979 Open 857
P0010 1908 - 1964 Open 109
P0011 1853 - 1960 Open 34
P0012 1919 - 1975 Open 2458
P0013 ? 1907 - ? 1988 Open 2290
P0014 ? 1926 - ? 1975 Open 1910
P0017 ? 1860 - ? 1983 Open 3231
P0019 ? 1856 - ? 1989 Open 3451
P0020 1909 - 1985 Open 7220
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1960 - 1987 Card Index to Building Plans VPRS 11926
More research resourcesMore research resources