School and education history in Victoria

Research Victoria's primary and secondary schools, text books and readers, past exams and results, curricula

Little girl and boy, three-quarter length, full face, wearing school uniforms with hats and backpacks, standing holding hands: Miquela Crawford, Tenos Monaghan.

First day of the new school year, Dunkeld Consolidated Primary School, [Vic.], 2003; H2008.120/97. Image courtesy of Richard Crawley. This image is in copyright.

School records

When researching schools it is important to note that there are a number of places where records could be, including but not limited to State Library Victoria:

State Library Victoria

Search the online catalogue by the school's name.

Some examples of items we hold:

  • Victorian education records [microform]
    • Includes: Expenditure on education, Port Phillip 1845, Lists of teachers employed/examined (assistants, monitors, etc.) 1848-1864, Inspectors' reports, Victorian schools 1863,  Common School Committees, Classified role [i.e. roll?] of teachers, 1885-1886, Victoria. Roll of state schools and teachers, 1887-1900.  

Also see

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)

Their website states that:

'School records created by Government schools that are still operating today are most likely still with those schools. Generally speaking, PROV holds school records for Government schools that have been closed.

Unfortunately records for many schools that operated and closed during the 19th and early 20th Centuries do not appear to have survived.'

See PROV's website for details of their extensive education and school records.

Also see PROV's research guide - Private lives, public records: Navigating through Victorian government archives for family research - which features a section on researching school and education records.

Indexes (Archival Access Victoria)

Victorian Pupil Register Database: This index contains over 113,000 names of pupils who attended Victorian primary schools over the past 150 years. It currently contains data from over 245 schools across the state. The register can then be consulted at PROV.

Victoria Schools Map: A map of schools based on information from PROV VPRS 795 (Building Files). Contains 2,500 schools.

Records still held by the school

As PROV's website notes, schools still operating will most likely still have historical records.

Local libraries or organisations

Records from a school that no longer exists may have also found their way into the local library, historical society or family history/genealogy group, sometimes even the local council.