Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Missing People i Australia

Missing People: "The details listed below were located in uncatalogued and unindexed police correspondence files held in the Public Record Office, Victoria, Australia. These items all have one thing in common: they were written by people outside Australia, to the police department in Victoria, in an attempt to locate 'missing' individuals.

The persons sought could be long-lost relatives or friends; husbands or wives who had deserted their spouses; suspected bigamists; or even people who had been in Victoria and who had committed a crime while overseas.

The files contain widely differing material: some people supply only basic details about the sought person, others give a great deal of background information. The response from the police department likewise differs enormously. At times the department simply responded that the letter writer had supplied insufficient detail for any identification to be made; on other occasions the department went to a great deal of trouble to locate the missing person.

There are over 2,000 boxes of material covering the period 1853 to 1940; there can be up to 300 files within each box. Many of the files relate to routine police business, but interspersed with these are files relating to missing people.

What follows is a selection of these cases only - it would be the task of a lifetime to index every file in every box.


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