University of Melbourne Archives

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Date Range of Records: 1855-1981
- Melbourne City Mission [-]
The Records of Melbourne City Mission date from 1855 to 1981. They include: the Melbourne City Mission Record 1900-1969; minutes 1899-1962; annual reports 1903-1969; 1981; general committee minutes 1963-1971; executive committee minutes 1955-1974; cash books; donations; receipts; ledger sheets; diaries; Pilgrims Rest Home for Aged Gentlewomen 1893- 1922; Elizabeth Fry Retreat by-laws and annual reports 1917-1944; branch accounts; case cards; missionaries diary journals 1874-1901; subject files; journal of Healesville Bush Mission; daily record Sister Grace's; Mission to the Friendless and Fallen; publications.

The bulk of the collection was transferred to the University of Melbourne Archives over time from 1981 to 1997 in three lots, and were eventually combined to create one collection for Melbourne City Mission (Reference number 1989.0090).

On 24 May 2004 three files were returned to Melbourne City Mission for transfer to Adoption and Family Records Service, Department of Human Services. They were:
- Admission Applications, Hartnett House, 1962;
- Adoption Register, [Hartnett House?], c 1966 - 1971;
- Adoption Applications, Hartnett House, 1971 - 1973;

In 2017, the University of Melbourne Archives undertook a project to improve discovery and access to records about people who grew up in orphanages and other out of home 'care' facilities in their collections. This included the Records of Melbourne City Mission. An archivist looked through the files and amended or added more detailed
description to the catalogue and Records Description List (finding aid).

The collection includes records which contain the names and details of individuals. For example, admission registers or client cards with personal details about mothers, babies, children and their families. The Homes mentioned include Elizabeth Fry Retreat, Happy Days and Swinborn Lodge. Because they contain personal or sensitive information access to these items is ‘restricted’, which means clients need to meet special conditions for access (see Access Conditions).

Content and Language Warning: We like to let people know that they may come across material that is confronting or disturbing in the records. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress, or trigger traumatic memories for people, particularly survivors of past abuse, violence or childhood trauma. For some people, these responses can be overwhelming. If you need to talk to someone, support is available - please see

Versions of the finding aid: Two finding aids to the collection have been published. The first was published in 2006. This version used a numbering system comprising a series and a series sequence number eg 1/1 (this is referenced in the 2018 finding aid as the 'Previous control number'). People citing the collection may have used the series
sequence number when referencing items in the collection. 2006 finding aid, citation: The University of Melbourne Archives, 'Melbourne City Mission collection, Accession Numbers 89/90, 97/129 and 95/129', listed by Sarah Brown, published 2006. An updated version was published in 2018. 2018 finding aid, citation: The University of Melbourne Archives, Records Description List for ‘1989.0090: Records of Melbourne City Mission', listed by Sarah Brown and updated by Christine Elias, published 2018. Attribution: There are no restrictions on using information from the finding aids, however, the University asks that you attribute (properly cite) material from the finding aids whenever and wherever you use it.
8 linear metres (31 archives, 4 phase boxes, 1 bundle, 16 volumes)
Collection Category: Community and Political, organisations
Access Conditions: Access: Restricted Access Note: People can apply for access to ‘restricted’ records (those containing personal and/or sensitive information) under special conditions. The University of Melbourne Archvies coordinates with Melbourne City Mission to provide access to the collection. Melbourne City Mission requires that people seek permission from them in writing to access any of the records in this collection. Those wanting to access client records that are less than 75 years old are also required to apply to the University Archivist, and may be required to sign a Deed of Undertaking. We recommend that you contact University of Melbourne Archives to begin with and a staff member can guide you through the process. For contact details please see The University of Melbourne Archives coordinates with Find & Connect Support Services to provide extra services for those who grew up in orphanages and other out of home 'care' facilities, and their families. As such we encourage those eligible to apply for access to the restricted records via the support service. For support services contact details, please see *Please Note: 'Restricted' records are not available to the general public for 75 years from the date of the last action recorded.
Finding Aids: Yes listed ONLINE
Online ListingRecords Description List for ‘1989.0090 Records of Melbourne City Mission’
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