Mr. J. Vallins - Reminiscences given before the AHRS, City Hall, Ballarat on Nov 26th, 1899 : Vallins, born in Berkshire in 1831, arrived in Australia at Geelong in 1854. He came to Ballarat for the gold and spent most of the rest of his life here, living in Ligar Street. He died in 1904 and is buried in the Ballarat Old Cemetery.
The Australian Historical Records Society existed in Ballarat between 1896 and 1906. They were one of Australia's first historical societies, and were in the position to still be able to talk to early pioneers. They invited such pioneers to either submit letters or memoirs, or to address the Society's meetings, where their reminiscences were taken down in shorthand and later typed up. The Society also attempted to preserve memorabilia from Ballarat's early days, but on the disbanding of the group in 1906, materials were stored at the Ballarat Town Hall and were later lost. It is not known how the papers made their way to the then Ballarat Municipal Library, but they have been part of the Library's collection for many years.