Author: Public Record Office Victoria

One of our long-standing volunteers Irene Kearsey lets us in on why she loves volunteering with us here at Public Record Office Victoria (PROV):

Why did you start volunteering at PROV?

During my working life, I'd collaborated with a PROV archivist to develop a retention schedule for public hospitals which got me interested in the archival value of records. Post retirement, volunteering at PROV was inevitable.

What's the most exciting record you've discovered?

One of the Bills of Sale was the then unknown artist Gordon Coutts raising a loan with his art works included in the list of assets. This lead me to research his later life (very racy) and his work (his most famous painting is "Waiting" held by the Art Gallery of NSW).

The most moving record was among the Koori papers: during the First World War, a Coranderrk woman wrote to the government department asking for a rail pass to Melbourne so she could farewell her son who was embarking as a soldier - the letter was endorsed "No funds available."

What project are you working on now?

Currently Bills of Sale, the indexing of which will make a great resource easily available to family historians.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

The content of the work; the company of fellow volunteers and staff; the occupation of time that then can't be wasted on housework.

If you'd like to join Irene as a volunteer, click here.

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