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Memento : Issue 27
Melbourne office moves north Our Melbourne office recently moved uptown, and some would say upmarket, from Casselden Place in the CBD to the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne. The new reading room offers state-of- the-art facilities, where researchers can view records from our collection and those of the Public Record Office Victoria in the one place. We have shared a reading room with the Public Record Office Victoria since 1997, the first partnership of its kind in Australia and one that has set the standard for joint Commonwealth--State archives initiatives. Later this year the partnership will extend to the use of shared storage facilities. We will be moving our most frequently used records to joint storage at the North Melbourne site. We celebrated the official opening of the new reading room in May with readings and displays of some treasures from our Melbourne collection. Guests were treated to an excerpt from a 50-year-old tape recording of Vladimir Petrov indicating his intention to defect. Samples of original records on display included an Australian WW I battle plan from Lord Casey's collection, requests from Sir Charles Kingsford- Smith to land in various destinations, and a letter from Malcolm Fraser to the Minister for Territories on equal pay for Aboriginal Australians. Our collection in Melbourne is especially rich because it was the original seat of the Commonwealth parliament until 1927 and it remained a centre for federal government activity until the 1960s. As a result, the Melbourne collection includes records from many departments of state including the Postmaster- General's Department, the Department of Labour and National Service, the Department of Civil Aviation and the Department of Defence. At the same time as our new reading room opened, we also launched our presence at the Genealogy Centre at the State Library of Victoria in the city. A dedicated terminal gives access to our collection databases, to a range of publications for family historians, and to passenger lists for the port of Melbourne. So if you need to access our collection database from the city, you can still do so. But do call in to our premises at the Victorian Archives Centre, 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne, and see all the new facilities. Conservator Chris Loretto shows Professor Bill Russell some of the gems in our Melbourne collection. Celebrating the opening of our new reading room in North Melbourne (left to right): our Director- General Ross Gibbs, Advisory Council member Alex Somlyay, Melbourne Director Ross Latham, Chair of the Aboriginal Advisory Group Muriel Cadd, and Advisory Council Chairperson Paul Santamaria. Spring--Summer 2004 MEMENTO 3