How to identify your ancestors' occupations and find more information their employment history.
The State Library Victoria holds many resources useful for researching members of the Victoria police. Resources include books, journals, indexes, images, journals and police gazettes.
Search the Library catalogue for the name of the town or station where a person worked, the name of a branch i.e. Mounted Police or a selection of keywords i.e. Police "Swan Hill". Enclosing keywords in quotation marks will ensure that the words are searched as an exact phrase.
Mounted Police, Victoria. H2014.1061/140
The following indexes are a good place to start. They will confirm the name and registration number of those who served in the Victoria Police. This information can then be used to help find additional records.
Released in 1856, the following Police manual, provided a "code of instruction" for members of the police force. This is an excellent resource, providing details on admission to the force, promotions, clothing and ammunition allowances, duties of different ranks etc. Additional police manuals can be found here.
The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) holds surviving copies of the following Victoria Police records.
Group of officers and men at Russell St. Police Barracks Melbourne. H96.160/519
The Victoria Police Museum holds:
The Museum also holds many items relating to the social history of policing in Victoria, including photographs, uniforms and memorabilia.
The Victoria Police was formally established on January 8, 1853 and the Victoria Police Gazette commenced publication in December of that year. It was distributed each week to city and rural police stations and to government offices and newspaper publishers. It’s main aim was to keep the police up to date on current police affairs including recent appointments, promotions and retirements. It also provided a detailed list of recent criminal activities.
State Library Victoria holds the Victoria Police Gazette for the years 1853 to 1971.
Digitised copes of the Police Gazette, for a selection of years can be found on the following databases.
Several supplements to Police Gazette were produced in the first half on the 20th century. These included police orders, photo supplements, and wanted persons supplements. Further information on these publications can be found here.
To find out more about the Victoria Police Gazette, please go to the State Library's blog - Using the Victorian Police Gazette to research your ancestors, or watch the following video.
Search the Trove Digitised Newspaper collection for articles about an individual. You may find stories about their policing activities, promotions, transfers and retirements.
Search for variations of their name, including their rank if known i.e. "Ned Holden", "Edward Holden", Constable Holden","Detective Sargent Holden". Or try searching for a name and place, i.e. Holden "Melbourne CIB"
Using quotation marks around the keywords ensures that the word are searched as an exact phrase.
"Terrible Ten" leader retires.The Herald, 6December, 1929, p. 4.
If the newspaper isn't on Trove you may need to explore the collections held in the State Library's Newspaper & Family History Reading Rooms.
Our Library subscribes to a wide range of current and historic Australian and international newspapers databases. They are available in the Library and many can be accessed offsite by Victorian residents who are registered State Library members.
More information can be found in our Newspapers research guides.
The following titles may help you with your research.