Search the Collection

Panoramic view of Melbourne looking north from the south end of Princes Bridge, Melbourne. c. 1900

About the RHSV Collection:

The RHSV Collection is one of Australia’s most significant historical collections focusing on the Victorian experience in Australian history. The collection continues to expand with donations from the public and society members.

The collection contains books, manuscripts, ephemera, pioneer registers, scrapbooks, journals, newspapers, and audio visual material.

The RHSV image collection contains photos, slides, glass negatives, maps, artwork and prints that have been collected or donated. It also contains images of postcards and memorials.

How do I search?

The RHSV collection can be access via several databases, as below. If you cannot find what you want, use the enquiry form below to send us a request. It is worth noting that we are continually adding new material, and some content in our collection is not yet in our catalogues, such as artworks, objects and maps.

Basic search tips
  • A single word, just type into the search box to retrieve your results.
  • Phrases [two words or more]. use double quotation marksto retrieve records for that exact phrase, .g.“Receipt Book”“mass-produced” or “06/097/100”
  • Two words in the same record, e.g. flying AND school. Find records with both words flying and school. AND must be in capital letters
  • Wild cards. Expand your results to include plurals or similar words, such as beads or beading, use these symbols;
    • Bead* will return words such as beads
    • Bead? will return words such as beading.
Advanced search tips
Boolean Operators: If you are searching for multiple words, but not for an exact phrase, you can use these to combine your search terms in different ways.

  • flying OR school : Records with either the words flying or school, or both flying and school. OR must be written in capital letters.
  • flying NOT school : Records with the word flying but not the word school. NOT must be written in capital letters.

Advanced wildcard searches

  • be*d : Records that contain words beginning with the letters be and ending with the letter d. e.g. Bead, bend, beard, bedford etc.
  • bead? :Records that contain words beginning with the word bead plus one additional character e.g. Beads, beady
  • be?d : Records that have any 4-letter word beginning with be and ending with d e.g. Bead, bend
  • bead~ : fuzzy search: Records with the word bead, as well as records with words that are similar to this word eg. Bean, bed, lead etc
  • [1945 TO 1950] : Range search: Records with any number between 1945 and 1950, including both 1945 and 1950. The TO must be in capital letters.
  • {1945 TO 1950} : Range search: Records with any number between 1945 and 1950, but not with 1945 or 1950. The TO must be in capital letters.
Image Database search tips
Guide to searching Images
There are several ways of searching the images database:

Basics
The SEARCH button is used to start search.
Click the RESET button to clear the search screen to enter the criteria for a new search.
The HELP button on the Search Screen provides detailed information about searching the database.
Broad searches
The BROAD SEARCH box allows a search of all indexed fields in the database.
1. Type a term or names in the BROAD SEARCH box, e.g. Bushrangers, John Batman or Flinders Lane
2. Use the SEARCH button to start the search.

Advanced searching
Search provides options for narrowing or refining searches.
Use the Boolean operators & for AND, / for OR, ! for NOT to combine words within a field.
For example:
• trams / buses – will locate records containing references to trams or buses
• trams & Fitzroy – will locate records containing references to trams in Fitzroy
• trams ! Fitzroy – will locate records containing references to trams but not trams in Fitzroy

Specific searches
SUBJECTS or ITEM CREATOR field can be searched by typing a term in the field box or selecting a term using the BROWSE LIST on the right of the field box.

Browse list
BROWSE LIST allows the viewing of indexed terms in the database. (Note: not all web browsers support BROWSE LISTS)
The BROWSE LIST button opens the WORD BROWSE LIST.
As several fields are included in the BROWSE LIST box it may be necessary to select the required field from the Field list box in the bottom right hand corner of the BROWSE LIST box.
To locate a term in the BROWSE LIST box type the beginning of a term in the Find box and use the Go To button.
Select the required term and use the ‘Paste’ button to insert the term in the field box on the Search Screen.
More than one term may be selected in a search.
However searching in these field boxes may help narrow the search.
Searching indexing terms for manuscripts can be made using the Subjects field in the SUBJECTS box.

Other Boolean search options
The Boolean buttons on the left of the field boxes can be used to combine fields in a search.
Selecting a term from ITEM TYPE box can narrow a search
For example: Type Trams in the BROAD SEARCH box and select Photograph from the ITEM TYPE box to locate records of photographs of Trams.

Wild card or truncation searching
Terms can be truncated to search for variations of spelling or for plurals.
To find all words that start with part of a term use *
For example societ* will find words Society and Societies.

Viewing records
A report form provides the title and item type of records located in a search. Click on the hyperlinked title for further information about the record. ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ record buttons allow moving to display forms for other items. Use the ‘Return to Search Screen’ link when ready to undertake another search.

RHSV Collection

Search includes, books, manuscripts, ephemera, pamphlets and the pioneers register.

Search these specific collections. Note: they will open in a separate window.

Search Images Collection

Search for photographs, slides, glass negatives and postcards in the RHSV collection. (Artwork, Maps, Objects N/A for online search)

Search Postcard Collection

The database contains a selection of images held in the RHSV postcard collection produced prior to 1955

Search Victorian Historical Journal Index

A comprehensive index from 1911 to the past two years
A Title and Author index for the immediate two years

Search Memorials Database

An index to over 1500 Victorian historical memorials, honour rolls, commemorative plaques, cairns, obelisks and site markers (circa 1995)

Need help with the collection?

When submitting a request, it helps us if you can provide as much of the following information as possible: type, content/subject, period and intended use. If the search request is extensive a research charge may be levied. In such cases we will provide you with a quote and ask if you wish to proceed.

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