Guide to the Index to despatches relating to the colony of Victoria 1851-1860 prepared by Mathilde E Deane (as filmed by AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Deane, Mathilde E
Index to despatches relating to the colony of Victoria 1851-1860 prepared by Mathilde E Deane (as filmed by AJCP)
Date Range
Collection Number
1 item
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Index to Despatches relating to the Colony of Victoria 1851-1860 … serving as an index to Colonial Office, Victoria. Original correspondence and entry books (despatches) 1851-1860 and War Office. Out-letters Secretary of State (Victorian dispatches) 1851-1854, compiled by Mathilde E Deane (b. 1870).

This index covers persons, places and subjects mentioned in the despatches of the Governor of Victoria and the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Each entry summarises briefly a subject referred to in a despatch, indicating whether the despatch originated in Britain or Victoria, the despatch number and date, and the page number of the despatch in the typed transcripts made by Mathilde E. Deane (held in the Mitchell Library, National Library of Australia and State Library of Victoria).

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

For Exmaple: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, (AJCP Reel: M440).

Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Copies

Deane supplied copies of the typescript to the Public Library of Victoria, the Mitchell Library, the Commonwealth National Library and the Public Record Office in London.

Photostat copy held in the the Papers of Henry and Mathilde Deane (Sereis 11, File 85), held in the National Library of Australia. (MS 610)

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding Aid Note

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP). The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Deane, Mathilde E.; 1914-1918Great Britain: Colonial Office; Great Britain: War Office; Victoria: politics and government; Governors and Governors General: Victoria; World War I


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 126, p. 46

Biographical / Historical

In 1920 Deane was commissioned by the three libraries to make typescript copies of the dispatches of Governors of Victoria 1851-1860, held in the Governor's Office in Melbourne. She worked on this project for several years and in 1926-1930 she also copied Victorian dispatches held in the Public Record Office, London, which were not held in Australia.

Mathilde Elizabeth Deane was the daughter of Henry Deane (1847-1924), the engineer-in-chief of the New South Wales Railways. In 1913 the family moved to Melbourne, following Deane's appointment as engineer-in-chief of the Commonwealth Railways. Mathilde Deane was employed by the Australian Mining Standard, mainly as an indexer. In 1917 she undertook a typing and shorthand course and then joined the Australian Furnishing Company. In 1919 she was engaged by the Public Library of New South Wales to transcribe despatches between the Governor of Victoria and the Secretary of State for the Colonies in the period 1851-1860. They were held in the office of the Governor of Victoria and the Public Library of Victoria. She also produced an index to the despatches.

In 1925, following the death of her father, Deane moved to London. Based in the Public Record Office in Chancery Lane, she continued her work for the Public Libraries of New South Wales and Victoria, transcribing missing Victorian despatches and missing despatches to the Governor of New South Wales. She also produced indexes to some of the Colonial Office correspondence relating to New South Wales and other tasks assigned to her by Australian libraries. She gave up doing work of this kind in 1932.

As a young woman, Deane aspired to be an artist and she always had strong literary and cultural interests. She was also a keen follower of Theosophy. In her later years she lived in Reigate, Surrey.

Item Descriptions

M.E. Deane. Index to despatches relating to the colony of Victoria 1851-1860. (typescript, 365pp.), 1925 (File)

The despatches were held in the office of the Governor of Victoria. The copies of the Victorian despatches did not include the enclosures. However, the Public Library of Victoria held a duplicate set of the Governor's despatches for 1851-1855 and they did include the enclosures. Deane therefore worked from this set for the period 1851-1855.

The index has a single alphabetical sequence and contains entries for individual people (by far the most numerous category); ships; towns, districts and countries; occupational and professional groups; companies, organisations and institutions; publications; general subjects. For each entry the volume and page numbers and the date are provided.

The general subjects, some of which have subdivisions, include Indigenous Australians; arms and ammunition; Australian colonies; Ballarat riots; cables (submarine); coinage; convicts; crime and criminals; federation of the Australian colonies; gold mines and mining; immigration and emigration; lighthouses; Melbourne; mercantile marine; military; military pensioners; mines and mineral resources; New South Wales; Paris Exhibition 1855; police; postal service; railways; Royal Mint; shipwrecks and disasters; statistics; telegraph lines of communication; transportation; Victoria; volunteer forces; war.

Categories of despatches of the Secretary of State for the Colonies
  1. Numbered despatches (B)
  2. Military despatches (BM)
  3. Separate despatches (B Sep)
  4. Circulars (B Cir)
  5. Confidentials (B Con)
Categories of despatches of the Governor of Victoria
  1. Numbered despatches (V)
  2. Military despatches (VM)
  3. Separate despatches (V Sep)
  4. Confidentials (V Con)