Manuscript Collection

The Society’s collection of manuscripts range from official government documents to personal letters and diaries.

The Manuscript Collection, which exceeds 20,000 items, holds a rich archive of documents, private papers, research articles and memorabilia donated to the Society. Letters from the goldfields, the log-book of the Oliver Lang (Liverpool to Melbourne 1854), and the diary of Rev. Francis Hales (1874), are examples of references which can be used.

The RHSV Catalogue updates the information contained in Sources of Victoria’s Heritage (1985) and its supplement (1999).

Family historians should ask to see the index of the Pioneer Register – a register of persons who arrived in the Colony before 1900. Registration forms for more than 900 entries, together with supporting documentation and photographs have been lodged with the Society. Commenced in 1917, many early registrations were completed by pioneers or their children. The forms contain more than 3,000 names.

Several series of newspaper cutting books, all indexed will attract much interest. Particularly strong in shipping, local history and biographical information, the books supplement published material.

Access to the Manuscripts collection

Research in the Manuscripts collection is by appointment on selected days/times with the Collections Manager:

Copying of manuscripts items is by application to the Collections Manager, and cannot be automatically provided off site. The supported practice is for research to be conducted at the RHSV by appointment with the Collections Manager.

Please note: Access for members is free. Non-members – pay a daily research fee of $16.50. All researchers in the Manuscripts collection must fill in an Application for Use of Manuscripts Collection Form.