Handwritten Council minutes go digital

The Australian Heritage Festival highlights our own history-revealing project.

This month marks the start of the Australian Heritage Festival, the country’s largest community-driven heritage event. The festival runs from 1 April until 31 May and aims to encourage active community investigation and learning about natural, cultural, Indigenous, living and built heritage around the nation.

The 2022 theme, Curiosity, is in line with a key Boroondara heritage project – the transcription of Boroondara Council meeting minutes dating back to the 1800s. The project, launched in February 2021, recognises the value of historic Council minutes as a primary source for local and family research. 

As part of the project, 324 volunteers across Victoria are transcribing the handwritten notes, documents and minutes of Boroondara Council meetings that date to 1856, when the Boroondara Road Board was formed. 

Over the past 12 months, 12,516 of the available 12,989 pages have been transcribed. From the passing of an 1871 law to ensure all vehicles carried lights when travelling in the Borough at night, to the acquisition of Mr Urquhart’s paddock to create Urquhart Street in 1881, the transcriptions provide crucial insight into the discussions and decision-making of the governing board at the time. The digitisation of the minutes will ensure the public has access to an invaluable historical resource.

If you’d like to join the volunteers helping to transcribe historic Boroondara Council minutes, visit www.digivol.ala.org.au 

For more information about library events celebrating the Australian Heritage Festival, visit our Library events page

A notice that says Meeting of the residents of Hawthorne and neighbourhood who have signed a requisition for creating a municipal district