Series VPRS 979
Contract Books
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series By 1859 - ? 1949
  Series in Custody 1859 - 1949
  Contents 1859 - 1949
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
1859 - 1949 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
1996 - 2002 Department of Infrastructure VA 3971
2002 - cont Department of Sustainability and Environment VA 4554
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Contracts were registered in single number order (for example, 1, 2, 3, etc.) commencing at 1 each year. Refer to the Consignment Unit Details to identify the unit that covers the date range for which information is required. For information regarding works at a particular building or location, consult the index at the front of each volume. The index was arranged in alphabetical order by town or city. Please note that some contract numbers were prefixed by the letter M to indicate relatively minor works. Minor contracts were listed at the back of the volume.

    Contract numbers may also be obtained from VPRS 972 Summary Contract Books. Information is arranged in these volumes by name of department (e.g., Education), by name of institution (e.g., Botanic Gardens), and by types of institutions (e.g., Asylums, Court Houses, etc.). When you turn to the relevant pages, works are listed in alphabetical order by locality under these headings. Some units in the series have an index at the front of the volume by name of department or name of institution. The index gives page numbers within the volume. VPRS 972 may have been created to bring together on the page all the contracts for work on particular buildings or for particular departments over longer time periods in contrast to Contracts Books that each only cover one year.

  • Function / Content
    The Public Works Department (VA 669) had wide-ranging responsibilities for all public works and buildings, including construction, maintenance and fitting out of these buildings. Other major responsibilities included roads and bridges, ports and harbours, local government and water supply.

    This series consists of the Contract Books in which were recorded the details of contracts let by the Public Works Department for the construction and maintenance of public buildings and for some equipment for same. Although there were changes in the format of the record over time, the details included were essentially the same.

    Entries in contract books were made in sequential number order, commencing with one each year. (These contract books might well be the contract register.) Details include: contract number, site of works (suburb and name of building) and the nature of the work, BN or Board Number, the name of departmental supervisor, the name and address of contractor, tender price of work, reference to advertisement of tender let in Government Gazette, and dates of progress and final payments for works. Please note that details recorded in contract books varied over the date range of the series.

    (Contracts advertised in the Government Gazette were given a sequential number starting at 1 (one) at the beginning of each financial year. It is thought that the sequential number was allocated by the Government Printing Office.)

    Fewer details were included for minor contracts.

    VPRS 979/P was reserialised in 2001 as part of the ARAD Project. The former unit 29 is now VPRS 995/P1 unit 1, and the former unit 44 is now VPRS 981/P1 unit 1. The remaining units have been renumbered to incorporate these changes.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Details of contracts were entered in single number order which is roughly chronological. From 1862, alphabetical indexes give location, a summary of the works and the folio (or page) number. From 1924-1925 this index consists of the place, summary of works, contractor and contract number.

    Until 1871 contracts were registered in volumes according to calendar year. From that date contracts were registered in volumes according to financial year. Volumes were arranged in chronological order by year dates.

    Minor contracts, for example, M/191, were registered at the back of the volume. Around 1940, minor contracts were for sums between 20 and 50 pounds. By about 1940 onward, works for which the tender price was less than 20 pounds were listed in VPRS 7977 Board of Land and Works Expenditure Authorities (or Schedules).

    As at 2003, the whereabouts of contract files was not known and it is assumed that they have been destroyed. The recordkeeping system in relation to contracts managed by the Board of Land and Works is not fully understood.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1859 - 1935 Summary Contract Books VPRS 972
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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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
P0000 1859 - 1949 Open 68
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1859 - 1935 Summary Contract Books VPRS 972
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