Photo of Tara Oldfield

Author: Tara Oldfield

Senior Communications Advisor

Here are the records recently added to our collection ready for you to explore. 

Rate and valuation books 1865-1995 Gisborne II Road District 

Gisborne was incorporated as a Road District in 1860, became a Shire in 1871, and was eventually abolished in 1995 merging with other Shires to form the Shire of Macedon Ranges. The volumes in this series record the levying and payment of rates on rateable properties in the area between 1865 and 1995 making them a great resource for family researchers with Gisborne locals in their family tree. 

Rates are taxes collected by local governments based on a percentage of the value of a property, and are one of the oldest forms of taxation used in Australia. 

For each rateable property a record is created which identifies the property and person rated and includes details of the annual value of the property, the amounts due, amounts paid, arrears and when rates were abandoned.

front cover of a book
VPRS 18829/C1, Shire of Gisborne - Rate Book - 1879-1883

The records for Gisborne have been digitised and are progressively being added to our website. The rate book for 1879-1883 is one of the volumes already available online. Entries begin on the fourth page of the PDF (or page 2 according to the volume numbering at the top of the page) where you can zoom in to view entries such as that of Edward Cherry, Carpenter. His rateable property consists of a store workshop and residence. Payments and remarks can be found on the next page. At entry 18 you can find Catherine Farrel living at a cottage on Aitken Street. Deciphering the cursive handwriting is all part of the fun!

inside book
VPRS 18829/C1, Shire of Gisborne - Rate Book - 1879-1883

You can view the series here.

Find rate records for other council areas here.

Emerald Tourist Railway board minutes

From the Emerald Tourist Railway Board we now have board minutes dating back to 1977. The Emerald Tourist Railway Board was established by the Emerald and Tourist Railway Act 1977 on 31 August 1977, and is responsible for the preservation, development, promotion and maintenance of the narrow gauge steam railway, known as Puffing Billy. The minutes relate to the full range of responsibilities and activities of the Board discussed at meetings, including the operation and management of Puffing Billy. The minutes record names of board members, and any guests present at the meetings, as well as amendments to previous minutes and agenda items with any decisions made. These are physical records available to order and view in our North Melbourne reading room.

View the series here.

For a refresher on ordering records to view in the reading room, see our step-by-step video below, and make sure to book your visit.  


Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples