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What do I need to know?

  • to search these records, it is helpful to use keywords based on locations, events or activities. There are some, but not many, named photographs of individual people.
  • as there is not a lot of detail in some of the image descriptions, it is often helpful to use broad keywords and browse the thumbnails of the results. 

How do I search?

Search on anything related to transport or people and see what comes up. This is a wonderful collection of late nineteenth and twentieth century photographs of Melbourne.

About these records

The Public Transport Corporation (PTC) was formed by the merger of the Victorian Railways and the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board. It had responsibility for rail, tram and bus transport across Victoria. Their photo collections were also merged into the PTC photo library, which was transferred to PROV.

Who created these records?

Victorian Railways 1883-1983 (VA 2876)

State Transport Authority 1983-1989 (VA 1038)

The Public Transport Corporation (PTC) 1989-2003 (VA 2984)

Department of Infrastructure 1996-2008 (VA 3971)

Next Steps

You can download a copy of images by clicking on the 'Download' icon at the bottom left of the image viewer.  You can choose from several image sizes. The largest size is the full resolution that the image was scanned.

Most of the collection is in the form of negatives, kept in cold storage. If you have ordered an original item that has not been digitised it will need to be retrieved from cold storage, and the item will need to spend 24 hours acclimatising to room-temperature conditions before we can make it available to you to view.

What are in these records?

  • trains and trams 
  • conductors and staff
  • street landscapes
  • Melbourne streets
  • Melbourne buildings
  • railway lines
  • stations
  • bridges
  • rail crossings and other landscapes,
  • staff and public.
  • technical workplaces
  • construction of tracks
  • engineering details of equipment
  • gardening
  • childcare
  • dining
  • advertising posters
  • commuters 
  • official visits and more.

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