Classified Subject Index to Inward Registered Correspondence
||? 1864 - 1984
||Series in Custody
||1864 - 1984
||1864 - 1984
|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
How to use this series
Consult the Guide to VPRS 893/P. This is a list of indexing terms used in the first consignment of this series. It shows you which pages and in which volumes each subject appears.
Locate the page(s) that index the correspondence you are interested in eg. if you wished to find correspondence on Scholarships for 1887 you would look up scholarships in the list below:
Scholarships 1886 - 1887 Vol 9 p 283 - 286
You would then turn to page 283 of volume 9 and browse through the entries.
Having located an entry for a letter in which you are interested, you should note down its date and registration number.
See System of Arrangement and Control below for information on where correspondence is most likely to be found.
Consult the series registration information for the most likely series, as that registration will tell you how to access the actual correspondence.
Function / Content
This series is an index to most of the registered correspondence received by the Education Department over the period 1864 to 1984.
(However, most Primary Schools correspondence for the period 1870 to 1984 is indexed in VPRS 915 Index To Registered Primary School Correspondence.)
The volumes contain the date on which correspondence was received, the registration number allocated to it and the name of the sender. Occasionally details of subsequent letters will be included when the letter has been top numbered into another file. (See below for further details on top numbering.)
Arrangement of Entries
The entries in these volumes are arranged according to classified subject headings such as Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Forestry etc.. Some classifications refer to the source of the correspondence and others to the subject of the correspondence. Space for each classified subject was allocated as needed and entries for a given subject may be recorded on pages over several volumes. Within a single volume, entries for a particular subject may be found on several, not necessarily sequential, pages.
This series has been reprocessed. The current arrangement may not be exactly the order in which they were created. It is believed that some volumes have not been transferred to the PRO.
A guide to classified subject headings and corresponding unit/page numbers has been created and is attached.
In addition to a number of correspondence series identified below, researchers should be aware that the Public Record Office holds a number of correspondence registers from the Education Department.
System of Arrangement and Control
Most items of correspondence received by the Education Department were registered.
Registration of correspondence involves the allocation of a sequential and unique number to an item of correspondence from a register.
The numbering system used by the Education Department for the registration of inward correspondence is known as the annual single number system. This type of numbering has two parts - a year prefix and a sequential number. For example, a letter numbered 87/1294 is the 1,294th letter received in 1887, and so on. The registration number was written on a cover sheet and attached to the letter.
Registers of correspondence received by the Education Department are found in VPRS 898 Register of Inward Correspondence.
After registration, correspondence was indexed in this series according to a number of subject headings. Once the correspondence had been classified and indexed, the subject it had been classified under was written on the cover sheet. Often a very brief prcis of the letter was also written on the cover sheet.
If a reply had to be written, or action taken, the letter was forwarded to the relevant staff member. They in turn would write instructions known as minutes on the cover sheet and a letter was written, or action taken, accordingly. Once the action was complete the letter was ready to be filed or put away and often the letters PA can be seen on the cover sheets.
The physical location in which a letter was filed depended on the subject classification of its content:
Correspondence relating to specific Primary Schools was filed in school number order and can be found in VPRS 640
Correspondence relating to specific Secondary Schools was filed in school name order and can be found in VPRS 10249
Correspondence relating to specific Technical Schools was filed in school name order and can be found in VPRS 9514
Correspondence relating to Consolidated Schools was filed in school name order and can be found in VPRS 10538
Correspondence relating to subsidised schools was filed in school name order and can be found in VPRS 3859
Correspondence relating to Teachers Colleges was filed in college name order and can be found in VPRS 10536
Correspondence relating to school zoning was filed in school number order and can be found in VPRS 3915
Correspondence relating to specific Girls Schools (Domestic Arts Schools) was filed in school name order and can be found in VPRS 10274
General Correspondence relating to departmental administration was filed in registered number order and can be found in VPRS 794
Correspondence relating to general Technical School matters was filed in chronological order and can be found in VPRS 9515
Correspondence relating to Scholarships was filed according to the scholarship name or type and can be found in VPRS 10308
Correspondence relating to correspondence schools, curriculum development, psychology and guidance, libraries, teachers association and other classified headings was filed in [VPRS 10537].
Correspondence relating to general school transport policy was filed according to subject and can be found in VPRS 10065.
Correspondence relating to School Garden Competitions is found in VPRS 3856.
Some applications for the establishment of a State School are found in VPRS 3860. Most however, will be found on school building files (see below).
Correspondence relating to building was filed in several sequences according to school type and school name or number. It can be found in:
VPRS 3857 (Buildings General Correspondence),
VPRS 795 (Primary Schools),
VPRS 3916 (High Schools),
VPRS 9513 (Technical Schools),
VPRS 3852 (Manual Training and Cookery Centres),
VPRS 3854 (Domestic Art Colleges),
VPRS 3917 (Temporary Premises).
Later papers relating to building can be found on Capital Expenditure Works (CEW) files which are subsequent series to Building Files. CEW files are listed in the Summary Guide.
Correspondence concerning policy or of an ongoing nature was sometimes filed separately. These files were known as Special Case Files and can be found in VPRS 892 and VPRS 9516 (Technical Special Case Files).
The serialisation of these records reflects the order in which they were found. No attempt has been made to physically intersort the records as it is not known when their present format was introduced or by whom.
It is possible that the staff of the Education Department kept the records in this order and the current serialisation reflects the way they were stored in pigeon holes within the Central Registry of the Education Department.
Alternatively, the files could have been separated at various times according to changes in departmental structure and associated administrative needs.
However, the possibility also exists that the files were placed in their present accumulations some time after they ceased to be current. This could have occurred as the non-current records of the department were moved through a number of storage areas.
6. Top Numbering
When more than one item of correspondence was received on a particular subject, the earlier papers were often attached to the most recently received correspondence. This is known as top-numbering. Generally, where top numbering has occurred, the index will list the later correspondence numbers next to the entry made for the earlier items of correspondence. The correspondence should be found under the latest number listed.
7. Exceptions to the Registration Rule
Not all correspondence was registered. Over time fewer and fewer letters were registered, until gradually the registration of documents (letters) stopped and the registration of whole files began. It is generally correspondence relating to specific schools which is not registered. There are two reasons why this is believed to have happened:
a) the quantity of correspondence was too great for the resources of the department (over 600 items of correspondence per day)
b) correspondence relating to specific schools was easily located without the aid of registration or indexing.
8. Culling and Final Location of Papers
It is believed that the culling of files was regularly undertaken by Education Department registry staff. It is not known what guidelines were used in this process.
Correspondence appears to have been moved between filing sequences at various times, and correspondence could easily have been misfiled. Consequently, when correspondence cannot be located in the most likely series, it is worthwhile checking other correspondence series. In particular VPRS 640 and VPRS 795 should be checked as they are the most general series.
- Function / Content
- Recordkeeping System
|More research resourcesMore research resources|
|Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers|
|Controlled SeriesControlled Series|
|1864 - 1872
||Inwards Registered Correspondence
|1872 - 1872
||Local Committee Inward Correspondence Files
|1873 - 1984
||Central Registered Correspondence Files
|1878 - 1962
||Central Inward Primary Schools Correspondence
|1879 - 1983
||Central Correspondence Files - Technical Schools
|1886 - 1980
||Central Correspondence Files - Scholarships
|1890 - 1980
||Central Correspondence Files - Technical Schools General
|1894 - 1946
||Manual Training and Cookery Centres Building Files
|1895 - 1939
||Domestic Arts Schools Building Files
|1904 - 1948
||School Garden Competition Correspondence
|1907 - 1960
||High Schools Inwards Correspondence Files
|1907 - 1962
||Central Inward Teachers Colleges Correspondence
|1911 - 1923
||Domestic Arts and Manual Training General Correspondence
|1913 - 1953
||Subsidized Schools Correspondence Files
|1914 - 1967
||Central Correspondence Files - Technical Schools Syllabuses
|1920 - 1968
||Miscellaneous Building Files
|1924 - 1955
||Domestic Arts Schools (Girls' Schools) Correspondence
|1926 - 1959
||Papers on School Zoning
|1926 - 1969
||Classified Headings Correspondence
|1927 - 1979
||Central Correspondence Files - Transport (Conveyance)
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