Copying and publishing public records

This PROVguide outlines a range of options for making copies of records held by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).  Most original records held by PROV can be copied except where copying would cause damage.  PROV reserves the right to select the most appropriate copy process, and reading room staff can advise the most suitable copying method on a case by case basis.  Victorian government visitors are advised to also consult Copying services for government users regarding obtaining copies of records for which their agency is responsible.

Making your own copies in a reading room

Digital cameras

Researchers can make copies of records free of charge using their own digital camera, provided that conditions of use are observed. There are digital cameras available in the Reading Room for your own use, bring a USB stick with you. 

Hand held scanners/portable scanners

Hand held or portable scanners are  permitted to be used in the reading room to copy original records as long as  these devises DO NOT come in contact with the record.


Search agents

If you are not able to visit a reading room to view records and arrange your copy order, you may wish to hire a search agent to undertake this on your behalf.  See Research Agents for contact details.


Obtaining permission to publish

Before a public record can be reproduced in a publication or exhibition, the written permission of the copyright holder must be obtained. Refer to Copyright For Researchers for information about the permissions process, You must also note down the citation details for the item you wish to publish and complete an application for permission to publish form.  See here for guidelines on how to cite public records correctly.


Placing a copy order

Copy orders can be placed in person at PROV’s reading rooms or online via the Photocopy Order Form  or the Digital Copy Order Form.
Step 1: Order the records using your User Id and password
Step 2:Complete the appropriate order form:

Step 3 – For online orders, you will receive a credit card payment link. For reading room orders payment is made at the copy desk
Step 4 – Once you have made the payment your order will be sent to be processed.


At the Victorian Archives Centre payment can be made by  Eftpos, credit card, cheque or money order.  PROV cannot accept payment by American Express.  Please make cheques and money orders out to Public Record Office Victoria. 


Certified copies for legal purposes

Copies of public records produced by PROV can be certified for legal purposes by the Keeper of Public Records.  A certification charge of $5.00 per record (in addition to copying and postage) is charged regardless of the number of pages copied.  For example, the following copies would cost $5.00 for certification:

  • one document in a probate file
  • all documents in a probate file
  • one page in a volume
  • 20 pages in a volume.

It is advisable to allow 10 working days for certification which is undertaken subject to the availability of the Keeper of Public Records.  To ensure the integrity of certified records, copies of records will only be certified by the Keeper if the copy has been made by PROV and has not left PROV custody.


Receiving your copy order

Completed photocopy orders placed at the Victorian Archives Centre can be picked up from the copy desk in the Reading room.If postage has been ordered and paid for copies will be posted to the nominated address.



  • the standard photocopying cost is 75 cents per page plus a postage fee if postage required
  • photocopy orders are completed within 25 working days at the Victorian Archives Centre. 


Fast track copying service

PROV offers a fast-track copying service (digital and photocopy) for orders up to 20 pages.  In addition to the 75 cents charge per page, the following charges and conditions apply:

Same day

  • $15.00 fast-track fee per 20 copies or part of 20 copies
  • Same-day orders need to be placed by 3:00pm
  • Copying will be completed by the end of the day; 4.30pm

Following day

  • $7.50 fast-track fee per 20 copies or part of 20 copies
  • Copying will be completed by 1pm the following day



PROV can make high resolution digital copies of records suitable for publication or exhibition.  Before a public record can be reproduced in a publication or exhibition, the citation of the record and the permission of the copyright holder must be obtained. Refer to copyright for researchers for details.

  • maps, plans or other oversized single-page documents are $20.90 each
  • per standard sized document – first 20 pages in length is $20.90 and for every 30 pages or part thereof after the first 20 pages is $16.70
  • digitised images can be emailed or provided on a CD (see below for postage charges)
  • digital orders are completed within 25 working days.

Requests for digitised images must be completed using the application for digital images form.  Copies are provided on cd as .tif files or emailed to you as .jpegs.   You can pay with a credit card by emailing us your credit card details.


Postage and handling

Service Type (or equivalent eg. 5 x A3 or 10 x A4) Charge
Envelopes Large Letter format: up to 99 A4 pages $9.00
  Parcel format: 100-599 A4 pages $17.00
  Parcel format: 600-999 A4 pages $21.00
Tubes   Price on application
CDs   $9.00
DX Up to 799 A4 pages $2.00
DX 800+ A4 pages $8.65
Overseas   Price on application
Registered mail an additional $3.50