Series VPRS 7882
Public Building Files
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series By 1924 - 1988
  Series in Custody 1924 - 1988
  Contents By 1874 - 1988
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
1924 - 1944 Department of Public Health VA 2904
1944 - 1978 Department of Health I VA 695
1978 - 1985 Health Commission of Victoria VA 652
1985 - 1988 Department of Health II (commonly known as the Health Department Victoria) VA 2695
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1996 - cont Department of Human Services VA 3970
1999 - cont Department of Infrastructure VA 3971
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Detailed item listings exist for this series - browse or search the data for items of interest. The remainder of this section describes alternative ways to identify records within the series.



    As part of the overall record keeping system, numerical and alphabetical card indexes to Public Building (P.B.) files were created simultaneously for the purpose of regulating the arrangement/control/movement and easy access to the files. For the Numerical and Alphabetical card indexes, see VPRS 8041/P1 and 8042/P1 respectively.

    For easy access to a certain category of public building files e.g. motor race tracks, pre school centres, senior citizen centres, tent files, public buildings in the Melbourne C.B.D. and for some files grouped under subject titles e.g. Showgrounds and Exhibition Building and some plans of Victorian Football League (V.F.L.) Park etc, see the General Indexes to Public Building files and plans (VPRS 8043/P1).

  • Function / Content
    This series contains files that document the regulation of certain health and safety standards in public buildings throughout Victoria. Public buildings are those that are used for the purpose of education, (excluding state primary and secondary schools), entertainment, amusement and recreation.

    These include such building as:
    - hospitals or benevolent or other asylum (including those not wholly supported by the state)
    - theatres, opera houses, concert rooms, assemblies dance or cinema halls, skating rinks, tents or structures, galleries and platforms,
    - churches, chapels or meeting houses
    - schools
    - any building declared by proclamation to be a "Public Building"

    This function was first established by the Public Health Amendment Statute 1867, (Section 34 Act No.310) and was incorporated in subsequent Health Acts. Under the provisions of this legislation the plans and specifications of public buildings including those for subsequent extensions and modifications were to be examined with a view towards establishing minimum safety and health standards covering areas such as ventilation, access to exits, seating arrangements and sanitary arrangements etc. Approval for such plans was required before construction could begin. The completed building was also subject to inspection before approval could be granted for opening.

    The agencies historically responsible for granting approval were:

    1867-1890 Central Board of Health (operating as part of the Chief Secretary's Department VA 475)
    1890-1944 Department of Public Health (VA 2904)
    1944-1978 Department of Health (1) (VA 695)
    1978-1985 Health Commission of Victoria (VA 652)
    1985-1988 Health Department of Victoria (VA 2695)

    Filing System

    This series dates from 1924 when a separate correspondence system was established for public building files. Prior to this time, correspondence relating to the public building function had been registered as part of the central inward correspondence systems of the agencies responsible for the function. From 1924 a separate file was created for each individual building and allocated a numerical file number prefaced by the letters P.B. Thus although the series dates from 1924, contents of individual files do extend back to 1874 and possibly earlier.

    Contents

    The files contain applications for approvals, inspection reports, registration notifications, sketch plans, working drawings, computation, specifications, renewal notices and the related correspondence exchanged with the proprietor of the building. The file movement sheet is placed in front of the file.

    Many files represent large complexes which as a whole are treated as a single public building e.g. university campuses, schools and recreation reserves. In these cases a file was created for each individual structure of the complex. In the case of exhibition halls files relating to the entire complex or exhibition centre and for every temporary show or event were created. These files carried a common P.B. number with further division represented either by a sequence of letters or by a sequence of secondary numbers e.g. P.B. 139A or P.B. 139/1-341 relating to a particular structure. If the files became too bulky they were further divided on chronological basis as part I, II & III etc.

    Related Records

    The original plans connected with public buildings are either attached to the file or are maintained separately as unattached folios (See VPRS 8044/P1). The sketch plans of public buildings (See VPRS 8056/P1) provide an alternate source to the P.B. plans for the period 1952-1988.

    Files relating to tents, public building legislation and general policy files, are classified under three different sequences, namely P.B.T., P.B.L. and P.B.G. (For details see VPRS 8050/P1, 8052/P1 and 8047/P1).

    The files/plans relating to hospital buildings or any benevolent or other asylum or institution which were classified as public buildings are still with the Health Department (as at 1989).

    It is believed some public building files relating to amusement park structures (A.S.) bearing P.B. reference numbers were sent to the Department of Labour and Industry when it took over the responsibility for administering the regulations relating to the mechanical devices of the amusement park structures in 1979.

    The tent files which formed a part of A.S. series, however, remained with the Health Department. The tents currently in use were allocated a numerical file number prefaced by the letters P.B.T. (See VPRS 8050/P1). All other remaining tent files (192 in number) not currently in use were physically put back into the public building filing system. For a list of these files see General Indexes to P.B. files, VPRS 8043/P1.

    A separate sequence of files was created to deal with those public buildings which were used as child minding centres. This series has been registered as Child Minding (C.M.) Centres. (See VPRS 3876/R1 and 3787/R1)

    End of Series

    Following the proclamation of the Victoria Building Regulations (V.B.R.) and the Health Amendment Act 1987, certain classes of public buildings were either fully or partially exempted from complying with the provisions of the Health (Public Buildings) Regulations. There was a gradual phasing out of building related regulations which reduced the role of the Health Department in building document approval. In 1988 responsibility for the function was passed to the Department of Planning and Environment (Building Control Branch) which became Department of Planning and Urban Growth in 1990 and VA 3013 Department of Planning and Housing in 1991.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Series: sequentially by file number

    Range of Control Symbols

    Series/Series in custody : 1 - 21,737

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1924 - 1988 Numerical Card Index to Public Building Files VPRS 8041
1924 - 1988 Alphabetical Card Index to Public Building Files VPRS 8042
1974 - 1982 General Indexes to Public Building Files and Plans VPRS 8043
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
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 By 1874 - 1988 Open 2565
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1924 - 1988 Numerical Card Index to Public Building Files VPRS 8041
1924 - 1988 Alphabetical Card Index to Public Building Files VPRS 8042
1974 - 1982 General Indexes to Public Building Files and Plans VPRS 8043
More research resourcesMore research resources