You’ve found something fabulous in Trove – now get the actual item
There is one question we’ve been asked since Trove began. I’ve found something really unique in Trove, how do I get it? It might be a picture of your great grandmother, an article that would really help with your assignment, a rare nineteenth century map, your favourite author’s personal papers or even a book you read twenty years ago and have been searching for ever since. The list really does go on, and with now over 240 million items in Trove you’re likely to find almost anything.
Once you’ve found the item in Trove, what do you do then? Well, there are usually a few options. You’re probably familiar with this screen:
If tells you important information about the item, including the Title, Author and Trove bookmark. About halfway down is the information you really need. It’s in that box titled ‘A Version is available from’. Notice there are four tabs – ‘Online’, ‘My Libraries’, ‘All Libraries’ and ‘Buy a copy’. These may be greyed out, meaning you can’t click on them. This happens when the item isn’t available in that way, for example there might not be any libraries that hold a copy.
Let’s take a look at these tabs. First of all is ‘Online’. Lots of things in Trove have something about the item available online. This might be a fully digitised version of the item you’re looking for. For example take a look at this 2004 Thesis Our Daily Bread: the field bakery and the ANZAC legend http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/4033877
The ‘Online’ tab has one URL listed. By clicking this you are taken to Murdoch University’s Research repository, where you can read an abstract or view the PDF of the entire thesis.
You’re not always going to find the entire work is online and fully digitised just because there’s a link on the online tab. But the URL could lead to something helpful like a table of contents for a book, or biographical information on the author for example http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/17463450
If it’s an article in the ‘Journals, articles, datasets’ zone of Trove, your local library might be able to give you access through their subscription. For example take a look at this Article Bugs as Drugs Part Two. You may see ‘Access via your library memberships’ and your library’s name beneath. Otherwise click the blue ‘Show me all libraries that have a subscription to this article’ button to see a list of libraries. Find your library on the list, click the ‘View Online at Gale’ or ‘View Online at Informit’ link next to your library name and click on it. You may then need to enter details like your borrower card id. You’ll either see the PDF for the article, or click the title on the Gale website to see the full article.
Next in Trove is the ‘My Libraries’ tab. We might skip this and look at the ‘All Libraries’ tab instead. The ‘All Libraries’ tab lists every library that has this item in their collection. By clicking the library name you will be taken to their online catalogue or website, where you can see if the book is currently out on loan. Then you can go into the library and borrow the book if you’re a member. Not a member? That’s ok – often you can contact the library and ask to come see the item anyway. Just give them a call to talk about access.
That’s all great if there’s a copy near you, but what if the only copy is on the other side of the country? No worries! Libraries have a system called ‘Inter Library Loan’. You just take the information about the item, be it a book, map, picture, CD, whatever, into your local library and ask them to do an Inter Library Loan for you. There will probably be a small fee involved. Talk to them about what’s best for you, if you need the entire book they’ll have it brought in for you. Or they might just get a PDF of the chapter you need.
If you want a Newspaper that’s not yet digitised, they can also get the microfilm for you to view.
Now back to the ‘My Libraries’ tab. When you login to Trove you have the option of setting up Libraries you are associated with. Everyone can join their local public and their State library, usually you only need to provide your street address to prove you live in their jurisdiction. The same goes for the National Library. You might also have a library at work, university, school or other organisation that you belong to. Why does all this matter? Well, when you click the ‘My Libraries’ tab you see only those libraries you have setup in your user profile. It’s a great way to narrow down the list on the ‘All Libraries’ tab to just the ones near you. Additionally, some libraries have loaded specific information into Trove so if you’re sitting inside a library, items in that library will show up too.
Finally we come to the ‘Buy a copy’ tab. This tab runs a search over online bookshops and shows you those that have a copy available for purchase. It also lets you click through to a list of online bookshops which couldn’t be searched but which might have a copy anyway. If the National Library of Australia holds a copy, you will see the Copies Direct service listed and a link to ‘Order Now’. A staff member at the National Library which will retrieve the item from their shelves, make a copy, and post or email it to you.
A few more things I’ll let you know.
- Sometimes authors or smaller bookshops will add a Comment, to let you know the book is available from them directly. If you’re looking for something hard to find, make sure to check the Comments field to see if they’ve left their details.
- If you've found a great digitised picture, click the thumbnail. The library who holds it probably already has a system setup for providing copies which will be obvious on their website.
- Sometimes rarer books are out of print and can't be found even in a second hand book store. Try contacting the publisher - the details are available under the 'Versions/Editions' heading.
Trove helped you find found something fantastic, now go out there and get it!