Series VPRS 8656
Photographic Images (Negatives - 35mm colour)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series Circa 1925 - Circa 1992
  Series in Custody 1969 - 1992
  Contents 1969 - 1992
Public Access: Closed
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
1925 - 1992 Melbourne Water Corporation [known as Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works to 1992] VA 1007
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1925 - cont Melbourne Water Corporation [known as Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works to 1992] VA 1007
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    These records have been closed to public access for preservation reasons and cannot be used to select or reproduce photographic images.

    The photographic records of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (M.M.B.W.) were largely compiled by the Photographic Section (formerly the Public Relations Section) of the M.M.B.W. and comprise material from the period c1925 to c1991. Photographers were employed by M.M.B.W. until c1991 when the Photographic Section was disbanded.

    Negatives of M.M.B.W. photographic records are contained in the following series:

    VPRS 8609/P30 and P36 Historical Records Collection
    VPRS 8655 Photographic Images (Negatives - 35mm black & white)
    VPRS 8656 Photographic Images (Negatives - 35mm colour)
    VPRS 8657 Photographic Images (Negatives - 120mm black & white)
    VPRS 8658 Photographic Images (Negatives - 120mm colour)
    VPRS 8663/P2 Photographic Images Segregated for M.M.B.W. Laser Disk Project (1991)

    History of the M.M.B.W.'s Photographic Records

    To 1985/86

    Until 1985/86, when the Photographic Section was disbanded, photographs were assembled in sequences of negatives and positive prints of various kinds (see Technical Note below). An endeavour was made to organise the prints into broad categories relating to activities, subjects, and/or geographic areas. Most of the prints are still arranged and listed within these categories.

    1985/86 to 1991

    Some photographs were culled and transferred to the M.M.B.W.'s archives at Mill Park. Historic photographs include lantern slides, slides, albums as well as negatives, prints and transparencies. The remaining photographs (mostly negatives, prints and transparencies) were kept at M.M.B.W. headquarters in Spencer Street and were subsequently handed over to the records section.

    1991 to date

    In 1991, photos were selected from the historical collection (VPRS 8609) and the prints remaining in the city (VPRS 8662) and copied into a laser (optical) disk project (see VPRS 8663). Most of the photo albums used in this project were returned to VPRS 8609; otherwise the images on the laser disk are now to be found in VPRS 8663. The public may consult the photographs on laser disk at the Melbourne Water facility at Werribee Farm.

    In 1992/93, M.M.B.W. transferred many of its photographic records to the PRO.

    System of Arrangement/Control

    From the 1950s on, it appears that negatives were arranged in several sequences according to size and format. Survivals of this later system include :

    35mm b/w
    70/1 - 86/110 VPRS 8609/P36 (units 1 - 5)
    87/1 - 91/50 VPRS 8655/P1 (units 1 - 2)

    120mm b/w
    51/1 - 86/1468 VPRS 8609/P36 (units 1 - 5)
    65/945 - 67/2163 VPRS 8609/P30 (units 39 - 40)
    87/1 - 91/66 VPRS 8657/P1 (units 1 - 4)

    35mm colour
    69/1 - 92/7 VPRS 8656/P1 (units 1 - 20)

    120mm colour
    67/1 - 92/5 VPRS 8658/P1 (units 1 - 33)

    Negative numbers can be found written (usually in pencil) on the positives or in the associated publications (VPRS 8659). A small number of negatives in the Historical Collection (VPRS 8609/P30) have been catalogued (VPRS 8676) under N01-N11 and NA01-NA20.

    Note: Not all negatives have a positive print; there is no practical method of accessing negatives without a print. Some negatives are to be found in materials segregated for the laser disk project (VPRS 8663/P2). There is no prefix to indicate whether a negative is 35mm, 120mm, etc. so that the same number may refer to different negatives in different formats.

    Technical Note

    The photographic processes used to create these records were in common use in commercial and domestic applications. They involve use of chemically impregnated film which is exposed to record an image. Three types of film were used:
    Black and white film
    Colour positive film
    Colour negative film.

    Black and white film : the film, when removed from the camera and processed (developed and `fixed') becomes a negative. This in itself has little use. It is only when light is projected through this negative onto chemically treated paper that a recognisable picture is produced. When this paper is in turn developed and fixed it becomes a photographic print also known as a black and white positive. A positive print cannot be produced without a negative.Black and white prints cannot be made into colour prints unless they are hand coloured (painted with colours) This is an outmoded technique not used in these records.

    Colour positive film : produces transparencies also known as slides or lantern slides. The film itself becomes the medium for producing a recognisable image when the film is removed from the camera and processed. There is no intermediate stage such as a negative. Colour prints can be produced from transparencies but this process is rarely undertaken because it is complex and expensive. When this is done an 'interneg' is produced in a laboratory and from that negative either colour prints (positives) or black and white prints can be produced. Colour transparencies can be duplicated so that another transparency is produced. For these records it is believed that all of the transparencies are originals and that no duplicates, internegs or prints have been produced.

    "Lantern slide" : is a term used to describe a transparency that has been mounted between two pieces of glass. They may be black and white or colour and may be of any size although frequently two and a quarter inches square (120mm). Early lantern slides also included hand drawn rather than photographic images. The term is generally used to describe glass mounted transparencies created some years previously. Most of the transparencies in this record series are 35mm not mounted in glass.

    Colour negative film : is also known as print film because the final product is a positive print. When this film is removed from the camera and processed it becomes a colour negative. When light is projected through this negative onto photographic paper a positive print results, after processing. Depending upon the type of the paper and the process used, the final print (positive) can be either colour or black and white. A colour transparency or positive can also be produced from a colour negative but this process is rarely undertaken because of the complexity and resulting high cost. It is not known whether the positive colour prints in this record series were produced from negatives or transparencies although it is assumed that most if not all were derived from colour negative film.

    Other photographic processes such as Polaroid, ultra-violet, infra-red, x-ray, optical disc have not been used to create these records.

    The negatives are arranged in annual single number order (1951/1, 1951/2, and so on). It appears that until the 1950s, negatives were arranged in one or two sequences regardless of size or format. Survivals of this system include:

    29/1 - 39/776 "albums" VPRS 8609/P30 (units 32-33)
    35/1002 - 47/136 4"x5" b/w VPRS 8609/P30 (unit 40)
    52/1001 - 58/1060 negatives VPRS 8609/P30 (units 34-38)

    Other negatives from this period may be found in VPRS 8609.

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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1969 - 1992 Closed 20
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