Help on getting things

Once I have found what I want, how do I get it?

Any copy?

If it isn’t important to you whether you get the most recent edition of a text book or not, or whether you read the copy of Pride and prejudice with the introduction by Peter Conrad or the copy with introduction by Richard Church, all you need to do is scroll down and look at all the editions of the work. This shows all the editions as well as how many libraries have that edition and also if it is online. Default filters are sometimes applied (for example, English text versions only).

Screenshot 1. How to view all the editions

A particular edition?

If you do care about getting the latest edition of a textbook, or the Norton Critical edition of Hamlet, you may need to click on the “find a specific edition” button. This opens a list on the left of filters you can use to narrow your search. To find out where you can get this particular edition, click on the edition title and then click on the “get this edition” button.

Screenshot 2. Find a specific edition


Under the “View online” button, there may be a freely accessible online version of the item. This might include a link to Hathi Trust or the Open Library, which are free sources of online full text. If a preview of the item exists in Google Books it will also be linked to here.

From a library

Libraries or other institutions with a copy of this item are listed under the “Borrow” tab. You can filter this list by clicking on a particular state.

You may also set up a list of libraries you are affiliated with. This makes it easy to find items that are available in libraries you can borrow from. To do this, you must first login or sign up. You can then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.

Once you have set up this list, Trove will flag results found in your libraries whenever you are logged in. You will be able to limit searches to show only items found in your libraries, and when you are viewing a work, Trove will show a “My Libaries” tab listing your libraries that hold a copy of this item. Click on the tab to view the list.

Click on the name of the library or cultural institution to view either their catalogue or more information about where their building is located. If you belong to this library or institution, you may be able to borrow the item from them. (Note that access conditions may apply to some items)

Request a digital or printed copy

For items held by the National Library of Australia, you may request a digital or printed copy of the item. This service is known as “Copies Direct” and will incur a fee. Copyright restrictions apply and you may only be able to obtain a copy of part of the item.

To use this service, find the edition or version you wish to request. (It must be held by the National Library of Australia) Click on the “Buy” tab for that edition/version. Click on the Copies Direct logo (example shown below).

For more information about this service, try reading the Copies Direct Help page on how to get a copy:

Screenshot 3. Buy a copy.

You say my local library has this book, but it isn’t in their catalogue. Why is your information wrong?

Trove shows you which Australian libraries hold a book or other collection item. This information is supplied by libraries through the collaborative network “Libraries Australia”.

This information is not always up to date. For example, where libraries discard items from their collections, information relating to these discards can sometimes take a considerable period to be reported to the National Library. In these cases some collection items are wrongly shown in Trove as being held by a library.

The National Library is working with other Australian libraries to improve the currency of library holdings, and is now planning to increase these efforts.

Can I buy books from you?

No, you cannot buy books or other items from Trove directly. There are links from various items to some purchasing arrangements, just follow the directions where they are available.

An item I am interested in says it’s online, but the link doesn’t work. What’s going on?

Content on the web is sometimes removed or re-organised. We rely on content contributors to update their links if the items have been moved. Try searching the site that was linked to. The item may still be available in a different location.

If the item still can not be found, you might consider directly contacting the organisation which hosts the site that was linked to.

The item may also be part of a licensed journal for which a subscription is necessary. Please read our help section on the new Journals, articles and datasets zone of Trove for more information and help.

For online items, what do “access conditions” and “unknown (possibly available online)” mean?

Online materials are divided into three sub-categories. These categories are a guide only and may not always be accurate.

Freely available

These items can be viewed online or downloaded by anyone. Copyright restrictions may still apply.

Access conditions

These items can be viewed online or downloaded by anyone. Copyright restrictions may still apply.

  • A one off payment is required
  • The item is restricted to people who belong to a particular university or library
  • The item is restricted to people who belong to a library which purchases a subscription to a product including the item. Many public libraries purchase these subscriptions. If you are onsite in a library, try clicking on the “online” link for the item. You may be automatically authenticated and be able to access the item immediately.

Items may sometimes be placed into the wrong category, so it is worth following a link just in case it is freely accessible. Also, products which generally require a subscription may “preview” a few items, for example giving free access to one article per issue.

Unknown (Possibly available online)

We have been unable to automatically detect whether the item itself is available online. The link for this item might lead to the full resource, or to a related item instead, such as a table of contents or a review.