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This is the award-winning podcast Look history in the eye produced by Public Record Office Victoria. We interview people who delve into public archives and uncover interesting truths about Melbourne and Victoria's past. Discover the back story to some iconic Melbourne and Victorian people and places, and download the archival record which inspired each episode. 

Look history in the eye won the Australian Society of Archivists' 2022 Mander Jones Award for Best publication that uses, features or interprets Australian archives, written by or on behalf of a corporate body.

Podcast episode 1: The silent prison

Black and white heritage sketch of panopticon airing yards

Pentridge and the panopticon

Podcast episode 2: Monuments for the masses

Illustration of futuristic Melbourne

The 1978 Melbourne Landmark Competition

Podcast episode 3: They called her Madame B

Old image of a will and probate record

Uncovering Melbourne's infamous madame

Podcast episode 5: Pentridge prison escape


How hard was it to break out of Pentridge?

Podcast episode 6: Pioneer girls and flappers

women working in a factory 1917

The women of the munitions trade in Footscray

Podcast episode 7: Charles Troedel Archive

19th century illustration

Advertising and marketing in Marvellous Melbourne

Podcast episode 8: The Kamarooka panther

eyes of a cat

The big cat sighting that captivated Melbourne and beyond

Podcast episode 9: Queer stories from the archives

Collection of badges from the Australian Queer Archives

A History of LGBTIQ+ Victoria in 100 Places and Objects

Podcast episode 11: The Boy in the Dress

Boy in the Dress banner image

Jonathan Butler in conversation with Dr Yves Rees

Podcast episode 12: Finding Fanny Finch

Tapestry by Francis Coombs (Fanny Finch)

The audacious story of a pioneer and rule-breaker

Podcast episode 13: Unravelling Phrenology:

Handbill for phrenology reading in Hagley. Courtesy A. Roginski

A Controversial Past and its Modern Implications

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