Transcribing Chinese travels into Victoria’s history

Transcribing Chinese travels into Victoria’s history

Between 1904 and 1959, customs officials recorded the details of Chinese and Indian Victorians who travelled overseas under a certificate exempting them from having to sit the notorious dictation test on their return to Australia. They recorded the names, ages, nationalities, occupations, residencies and shipping details of these people.

Currently all of these details are locked away, unsearchable, unless you know the date of issue of a particular certificate. We plan to change that by creating a searchable index of these records and we’d like you to help!

Five partial lines from the register, showing the date of issue, name, age, nationality, occupation, address, and period of residence in Victoria for Tommy Hoy, Chin Sing Toy, Ah Yen, Ah Wey and Doolah Mahomed
Details from 1933 for Tommy Hoy, Chin Sing Toy, Ah Yen, Ah Way and Doolah Mahomed. Source: NAA: B6003, 3

Launch

On Sunday, 5 May 2019 we hosted a launch event for this project at the Chinese Museum in Melbourne to bring together people to help us to transcribe the key details from these three registers using our specially designed online system. We also had a presentation by Dr Sophie Couchman: What are these registers and why do they matter” and by John/Ming Griffith “Finding Chin Loong”.

For further information and to get a login to begin transcribing contact the project organisers on: [email protected].

Also keep an eye on our website and facebook page for information about any future transcribing events!

Rows 44 - 86, page 2 of register 3, showing details for 1933
Rows 44 – 86, page 2 of register 3, showing details for 1933. Help us unlock these registers. Source: NAA: B6003, 3

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