Series VPRS 9709
Card Index to Inward Registered Correspondence, Annual Single Number System
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series ? 1950 - 1978
  Series in Custody 1950 - 1978
  Contents 1941 - 1978
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
1950 - 1978 Public Service Board (known as Public Service Commissioner 1901-40) VA 886
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1992 - 1998 Office of the Public Service Commissioner VA 3088
2005 - cont State Services Authority VA 4781
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    There are two sequences of cards. One sequence is arranged alphabetically by subjects and file titles and the other is arranged alphabetically by names of Government Departments. Entries on the cards will give you an annual single registration number. Consult the Records Description Lists for VPRS 774 Inward Registered Correspondence to identify the unit (box) which contains the file you require.

  • Function / Content
    This series was created and maintained to control certain correspondence files of the Public Service Board (VA 886). Correspondence received by the Board was individually registered. In many cases subsequent correspondence on the same matter was attached together to form files. Retrieval of these files would have normally required a search through the Register of Inward Correspondence (VPRS 772) to determine the number of the last registered item attached to the file.

    This Index facilitated retrieval of established files without reference to the Register. There is no evidence that the files indexed were being top-numbered as new items were registered and attached to them, so it is assumed that the entries in the Index were made after the final number of the file was settled. There is evidence that additional items attached to these files were not registered in their own right.

    The Index appears to have been created from the 1950s although it includes files established by 1941. It seems to have been maintained through to circa 1978.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Document and file level control 1883 - 1980

    It is not known when the Public Service Board, established in 1883, first began registering inward correspondence. By 1889, however, a system was in place in which each item of correspondence received by the Board was registered within an annual single number system. In an annual single number system each registered item is allocated a sequential number which is prefixed or suffixed by the year of registration. The numbers commence from one at the beginning of each year. For example, the twenty-third item registered in 1895 would have been allocated the number 95/23.

    In the annual single number system established by the Board a distinction was made between applications for employment in the public service and other general inward correspondence. This distinction was primarily made during the two part registration process. The first part of the registration process simply involved the allocation of the registration number. The second part of the registration process involved recording full details about when the correspondence was received and registered, the name of the correspondent (corporate or individual), the subject of the correspondence, referral of the correspondence to other offices and the attachment of correspondence to subsequent papers. Until 1962 there were always two volumes maintained simultaneously for recording full registration details: one for applications for employment (marked Applications for Employment on the spine) and one for all other correspondence (marked General on the spine). These volumes were numbered in a single sequence. From 1962 applications for employment were registered and indexed under a separate system (see VPRS 9708 and VPRS 9854) and hence only the General register continued through to 1980.

    Although separate volumes were used for registration the numbers were allocated from a single sequence. This was done from the Annual Register (this series) which comprises a list of sequential numbers against which are recorded, in two columns, the volume and folio (page) numbers of the full registration. The left hand column lists the entries in the volumes used for Applications for Employment and the right hand column list entries in the volumes used for General correspondence.

    The volumes comprising the Register of Inward Correspondence (General and Applications for Employment) (VPRS 772) are self-indexing. This means that the volumes are divided into sections according to predetermined categories. In the volumes used for Applications for Employment the sections are identified by letters of the alphabet (A, B, C etc.). Entries were made in these volumes under the surname of the applicant. A separate index to these volumes was also maintained (see VPRS 771). In the volumes used for General correspondence the sections are identified by the names of organisations (mostly Government departments) or subject areas. Entries were made in these volumes under the name of the correspondent or the subject of the correspondence.

    The correspondence received was filed in annual single number order - see VPRS 774 Inward Registered Correspondence. If a subsequent item of correspondence related to the same matter as a previous item it was common practice of the Board to attach the items. In this way files were built up. The attached documents were then filed under the registration number of the last or top item. This practice is known as top-numbering. The Register of Inward Correspondence (VPRS 772) recorded the attachment of documents so that the top number could be identified and the correspondence retrieved.

    By the 1950s file level control was introduced for some files. The files ceased to be top-numbered. Subsequent items attached to the files were not registered in their own right but were allocated the number by which the file was already identified. A card index (this series) was created from this time to assist with the retrieval of these files and facilitate the attachment of new papers to them. The Index comprises two alphabetical sequences. One sequence indexes files by subjects and titles and the other sequence indexes files by names of Government departments.

    File level control from 1980

    In 1980 the system of document level control ceased and a file level control system was introduced. The new system comprises Correspondence Files (VPRS 8857), File Registration and Movement Cards (VPRS 8860) and an automated file registration and indexing system known as TRACE (for outputs see VPRS 8859). The new system continues the tradition of annual single number registration.

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Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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1950 - 1978 Inward Registered Correspondence, Annual Single Number System VPRS 774
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1941 - 1978 Open 3
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