Wk 4: 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy
For which Free Offline Genealogy Tool are you most grateful? How did you find this tool and how has it benefitted your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love
I am hugely grateful for Public Record Office Victoria, better known at PROV. This is the archives centre for the Victorian State Government. The amount of information in this one centre is mind-blowing.as it contains records and information from about 1830 through to the present day. This archive also has a fantastic on-line service but to access certain information a visit to the centre is required after ordering the records online.
Unfortunately, due to my work hours, and the fact that PROV is a 2 hour drive from me, I don’t get there as often as I would like. But I always have a to-do list on my notice board, ready for the next visit.
Most things that had an impact on the history of Victoria are included in their collection. The researcher can access information about inquests, shipping & immigration, education records, prisons and inmates, criminal trials, wills & probate, royal commissions, just as a starting point. The list seems to be endless. This vast collection also includes, photos, maps and manuscripts.
I remember when I was a beginner researcher, I was fascinated to find there were quite a few inquests in my family history. I loved ordering the records, and then off I would go into PROV full of anticipation of the otherwise unknown family story that I would find in those records.
Since then I’ve lost track of the volume of information, I’ve obtained from PROV, and I still have a PROV to-do list on my noticeboard, ready for my next visit, hopefully very soon. I have listed only a very few of the items available. Anyone visiting for the first time is always surprised at the huge amount and variety of information contained in this centre. The body of one of my family members was exhumed in 1872, and I’m hoping to find more information on this also on my next visit.
PROV also have an exhibiton space in the foyer, which I always find interesting. But I will never forget my shock when I casually wandered in one day, to see what was being shown, to find the life of my great uncle was on display. He was not at all famous, and in fact very very ordinary, so I would never have expected to see his story on display.
That’s the thing with PROV – it always surprises and I love it.