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Public Record Office Victoria is committed to ensuring that its archival collection is discoverable and accessible to as many people as possible. One of the ways PROV does this is by making information (metadata) about the vast quantity of physical records in its collection easily available to researchers through different online sites and channels.

Recent initiatives PROV has undertaken to enable the publication of collection metadata to external online sites are:


Australian National Data Service

PROV successfully sought funding from the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) to develop software to enable metadata to be continuously harvested from archival systems and published to the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), an internet gateway site used by researchers,  to access information about a variety of topics from many collecting institutions. PROV partnered with State Records New South Wales to ensure that the software developed would work with different archival systems. This resulted in approximately 38,000 archival series being published to the ARDC research gateway. PROV also made the software and user manuals that are accessible to all.



PROV has partnered with the National Library Australia to develop processes for automatically extracting PROV collection metadata to Trove, a site widely used by the public to search for and access a wide variety of material about the history of Australia (including manuscripts, maps, documents, newspapers and images). This project has resulted in information about approximately 18,000 series of records being automatically extracted (with constant updates) from PROV's collection management system and published to the Trove site, where researchers will be able to see this information in conjunction with information about the holdings of many other institutions.


PROV will continue to seek opportunities for further metadata sharing and external publication, to increase the discoverability and usage of the collection.


PROV collection API query builder form

We encourage the sharing and reuse of our collection information via our Application Programming Interface (API). An API is the way a website or application makes its data available to the rest of the world. The PROV API can be used by developers to build a new webservice or app that uses PROV data; or by researchers who would prefer to download raw data rather than trawling through thousands of search results.

Trial our API using the query form  The form allows you to easily generate searches and see the results on screen, providing you with access to the raw data that drives the search behind our collection. You are free to use this API for non-commercial purposes under a CC-BY-NC licence. Read more about the form here. Please direct any questions you have regarding using this form to

We look forward to viewing your creations!

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