Series VPRS 9581
Outward Letter Books - Old Melbourne Cemetery
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series ? 1877 - ? 1910
  Series in Custody 1877 - 1910
  Contents 1877 - 1910
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
? 1877 - ? 1910 Melbourne (Town 1842-1847; City 1847-ct) VA 511
1877 - 1910 Melbourne Old Cemetery Trust VA 4779
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
? 1877 - cont Melbourne (Town 1842-1847; City 1847-ct) VA 511
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Refer to the Consignment Details to identify the volume for the required period. An index in the front cover provides access to the content of the volume.

  • Function / Content
    Background

    The first burial at the Old Melbourne Cemetery occurred in 1837. The cemetery was divided into sections for each religious denomination. In 1851, due to lack of available space, the cemetery was closed to burials apart from people who already had claims on plots. The last burial at the cemetery took place in 1917. The cemetery closed in 1922.

    The gradual encroachment of what is now known as the Queen Victoria Market saw cemetery land being taken over by the market. In 1877 the sections allocated to Aboriginals and Quakers and the unused part of the Jewish section were taken over by the market.

    In 1917 the Melbourne General Markets Land Act (No:2913) was passed by parliament allowing the Melbourne City Council to reclaim cemetery land for the use of the market. The council had the responsibility of overseeing the operations of the cemetery through the appointing of trustees. The Melbourne City Council were co trustees of the cemetery with the Board of Land and Works (VA 669).

    Exhumation of bodies began in 1920. Only marked graves were exhumed. George Simms of the Melbourne City Council had the responsibility for the exhumations and he identified 525 marked graves. Human remains were found in the early 1990s during excavation work for the market car park, the site of the major part of the Old Cemetery grounds. As part of the exhumation process 70 significant memorials were identified and relocated to the Fawkner Park Old Pioneers Section. Other bodies were reinterred at cemeteries around Melbourne.

    No records exist prior to 1864. A letter from the then Secretary of the Trustees of the Old Melbourne Cemetery in 1895 (Outward Letterbook p 180) apologises for records not being available due to them having been destroyed in a fire at the gatekeepers lodge in 1865.

    This series contains copies of transcriptions of outward letters written by the Secretary of the Trustees of the Old Melbourne Cemetery. They cover the period 1877 to 1910.

    The provenance of this serie is subject to further research. The series has been attributed to the Melbourne City Council as the Council had the responsibility of overseeing the operations of the cemetery through the appontment of trustees. Also, the Council were co-trustees of the cemetery with the Board of Land and Works.

    The transcriptions of outward letters for the period 1864 to 1874, 1885 are located in VPRS 15670 Minute and Letter Book (1864 to ? 1885).

    Related Records
    Researchers interested in the Melbourne City Councils role in the closure of the Old Melbourne Cemetery should consult the Minutes of Council Meetings (VPRS 8910) from around 1916 to 1922. The minutes of the Market Committee (VPRS 8945) contain many references to the Old Melbourne Cemetery between 1916 and 1922.

    Town Clerks Correspondence Series II (VPRS 3183) may also contain files pertaining to the closure of the Old Melbourne Cemetery.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The letters are arranged in chronological order according to the date of the letter. An index in the front cover of the letter book provides access to the content of the book.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
0 - 1877 Minute and Letter Book VPRS 15670
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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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
P0001 1877 - 1910 Open 1
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