Help on finding things

What can I find in Trove?

You can find information about resources collected by Australia’s state, territory and public libraries, universities, research repositories, cultural institutions and industry organisations, such as:

  • books, theses, reports, research articles, raw data sets, book chapters, conference proceedings as well as papers and records
  • maps and audio-visual materials including photographs, artworks, postcards, videos, musical sound, sheet music and sound recordings of interview
  • the full-text of major Australian newspapers, from 1803 to 1954
  • the full-text of the Australian Women’s Weekly, from 1933 to 1982
  • copies of selected Australian websites which may no longer be available online or in their original form
  • people and organisations

When you search Trove, each result may actually be a group of records. For example, all versions of “Possum Magic” by Mem Fox should be grouped together, so that only one appears in your results. When you click on this result, you will see a list of all the versions and editions in the group. This group can be referred to as a “work”.

What am I searching?

Trove provides integrated access to millions of items from a range of the National Library’s collaborative services and from elsewhere.

Metadata (information about items) is pooled from Australian sources including:

and overseas sources including:

Text (the item itself) of

Trove also searches other websites such as Amazon, Google books, Wikipedia and others. These results are shown to the side of other Trove results and only the top few results are shown. If the item you are looking for is not shown, it may not mean that website does not have the item, only that the automatic search did not find a match.

How do I limit my search just to books, or by date?

See our search tips page.

How do I enable the “my libraries” search limit?

In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to, you must first login or sign up. You can then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page. To access this page, click on your user name at the top right of any screen.

Once you have set up your list of libraries, use the “in my libraries” checkbox under the search form to find only items held in your libraries. Even if you do not use this checkbox to limit your search, Trove will now tell you which search results are found in your libraries, if you are logged in.

How can I find out what has been most recently added to Trove? What are feeds?

Web feeds, sometimes also referred to as RSS feeds, are a way to find out about new content. A simple video guide to feeds is available here.

To take advantage of feeds, you need to sign up for a reader such as Netvibes or Feedspot. Now, search Trove for your topic of interest. On the search results screen, scroll to the bottom and look for the feed icon and link. RSS icon

Use your reader to subscribe to as many different feeds as you like. Then, check your reader regularly to see if anything new has arrived. If many new items matching your search are added to Trove in a short period of time, they may not all be included in the feed.

(Please note that other feed readers besides those listed also exist. The NLA does not endorse any particular product or service.)

Trove also offers some feeds specific to digitised newspaper or magazine articles.

How does the relevance ranking work?

The relevance ranking is complex and takes many things into account.

  • A record with a match in the title, subject or author field is considered more relevant than one with a match anywhere else. (But this is complicated by the number of matches found, and other rules which can push records higher or lower)
  • Exact matches are ranked higher than not-quite-exact(stemmed) matches. (e.g. You search for Jack, we match Jackes. Items that don’t have the exact word you used your search are not as relevanct as those which do.)
  • Search terms close together are ranked higher than search terms far apart.
  • If two records have very similar titles, but the second record also has the search terms found in the notes or full text of the record, the second record will be considered to be slightly more relevant than the first.
  • A record which has a higher “density’ of matches with the search terms is ranked higher than a record with a low density. (That is, a short sentence with one occurrence of your search terms will rank higher than 100 pages of text with one occurrence of your search terms)
  • Items where your search terms are only found in the full text (or in the finding aid) are not as relevant as items where your search terms are found in the title, author, subject, note, etc.

How do I link to an item?

The URL found in the address bar when viewing a work in Trove is bookmarkable. e.g.

This and other links can be found under “cite this” when looking at a particular version/edition.


How do I link to an item screenshot



Are there other ways of searching Trove?

Other ways to search Trove include the following.

We are also considering the development of an API for Trove.