Trove Content

Trove provides access to over 6 billion records about Australia or of interest to the Australian community. Trove focuses on freely available digital content created by Australians and held in the collections of Australian Libraries, Archives, Museums, Galleries, University, Research and community organisations.

Source and accessibility

Trove content is sourced in four different ways:

  • freely available digital material that has a home in Trove itself; 
  • links to digital material that live on our partner organisation websites, it may be freely available or have some access conditions;
  • descriptions of material that isn’t freely available or hasn’t yet been digitised, along with the location of the partner organisation who cares for it; and
  • contributions from the Trove community.

Nature of content

Across Trove’s categories this content is available as:

  • Full-text online copies of Australian Newspapers and Government Gazettes. These digitised newspapers date back to 1803 and have generally been digitised up to 1954, with select newspapers and gazettes contributed up to present day (rights and funding permitting). This digitisation has been a collaborative effort of more than 900 organisations and individuals, with the bulk of funding and coordination from principle partners the National Library of Australia and the State Library of New South Wales. Trove’s ‘Newspapers & Gazettes’ category is entirely made up of freely available online material.
  • Full-text online copies of magazines and newsletters from Australia and the Pacific. Articles range in date from 1762 up to present day publications that are contributed through National edeposit (rights permitting). Trove’s ‘Magazines & Newsletters’ category is entirely made up of freely available online material.
  • Online images, maps and artefacts from more than 430 Australian organisations depicting special events and everyday life. The descriptions of photographs and other visual collections that have yet to be digitised are also included in the ‘Images, Maps & Artefacts’ category.
  • World-class research and reports created by Australian universities, government bodies and non-government organisations. Highlights include all Australian theses from the last decade, Commonwealth Parliamentary Papers such as Annual Reports and Senate Inquiries, and contemporary government reports contributed through National edeposit. Trove’s ‘Research & Reports’ category is a mix of freely available online material as well as the descriptions of offline material.
  • Descriptions of the digitised and undigitised collections in Australian libraries including books, DVDs, microfiche, 100 years of press releases from the Commonwealth Parliament and many other items. Much of this bibliographic and holdings data is part of Trove's Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD). Trove’s ‘Books & Libraries’ category is a mix of freely available online material as well as the descriptions of offline material.
  • Manuscript or unpublished collections from Libraries and Archives including diaries, sketches, photographs, scrapbooks and more. Of particular interest is the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), 100,000+ UK and Australian Government documents covering pre-Colonial to 1980s Australia. Trove’s ‘Diaries, Letters & Archives’ category is a mix of freely available online material as well as the descriptions of offline material.
  • Recorded sound from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), oral histories, music scores and other audio material. Trove’s ‘Music, Audio & Video’ category is a mix of freely available online material as well as the descriptions of offline material.
  • Biographies and lists of resources about people, families and organisations of relevance to Australia. These have been brought together from a range of sources, including specialist Australian biographical services.
  • Archived websites including more than two decades of the PANDORA Web Archive, a curated collection created in partnership with cultural institutions around Australia; archived government websites and websites from the .au domain collected annually through large scale crawl harvests. Trove’s ‘Archived websites’ category is made up of freely available online material, except where the rights holder has asked for the website to be removed.

Trove user contributions

In addition to content from Trove’s partner organisations, the Trove community are also important contributors to Trove. They improve Trove by creating collaborative Lists, working together to bring together and annotate like resources. Troveites can also contribute by adding tags and notes to items that give further context or information about the item. Images are accepted via the Trove: Australia in Pictures Flickr group. The community can also assist in making the Newspapers and Gazette material more findable by correcting the machine generated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text from newspaper images. All annotations created by Trove users are managed by the National Library of Australia in line with the Trove Terms of Use

Collection caretakers

Trove is a collaboration and the long-term management, preservation and online delivery of content is also a shared responsibility amongst partner organisations. Ownership and management of the content varies depending on the resource. Some is managed by the National Library of Australia alone, some content is collaboratively owned and managed by NSLA, and in other cases individual partner organisations are wholly responsible for caring for items.  

Getting access

Searching Trove is free to users anywhere in the world. However, not all content is freely and immediately accessible online.  Availability and licencing are determined by the partner organisations based on rights (including Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property rights, copyright, cultural rights, moral rights) and other factors like funding. Items in Trove are broadly categorised in the following access categories:

  • Digital content which is freely available online and is in the public domain.  Partner organisations are asked to specifically identify digital content that has free access and open licence conditions.  However, not all partners are able to identify their works as public domain.  You may be able to obtain a digital image by liaising with the partner and purchasing a copy. 
  • Digital content which is freely available online but is not in the public domain. Trove partners may have gained permission from copyright owners to digitise content and to make copies of this content online.  Or they may have undertaken a risk assessment and made the item available online, with the understanding that it can be taken down should a copyright owner request it. You may be able to obtain a digital copy by liaising with the partner, however requests for uses other than study and research require permission from copyright owners. 
  • Digital content which is not freely available because it is under an embargo, culturally sensitive or licenced. This includes items like magazine articles and eBooks. For National edeposit items you may be able to access the item onsite at your State Library or the National Library. For embargoed journal articles and theses contact the relevant University library to request access. Otherwise contact your local library to find out if they have a subscription. Purchasing a copy directly from the publisher may also be an option.
  • Physical resources which are not available online.  Many partner organisations make these physical items available to the public through their local library, via a service known as Inter Library Loan or Document Delivery (rights permitting). Trove also provides links to purchase from an Australian bookseller, where they have the item available.