About people and organisations

Trove’s People and Organisation view allows users to discover biographical and other contextual information about people and organisations as well as related resources by and about them.

The People and Organisation view aims to be as comprehensive as possible across all fields of endeavour and the National Library of Australia, in collaboration with a wide range of contributors, is growing the content available through its People Australia program.

People and Organisation records group the various contributor records for the same person or organisation into an identity record. Identity records provide users with a view of all gathered biographical information, associated persons and organisations, and linked resources in a single place along with links through to the resources created and maintained by our contributors.

The information in the Identity record may cover all aspects of the person’s life or organisation’s history, or it may focus only a particular aspect or area. Drawing all of this information together in a single record allows the user to compare details and expand or limit their area of interest.

Each person or organisation record displays a citable persistent identifier allowing users to refer to that person or organisation in perpetuity, For example, the persistent identifier for the feminist and activist, Maybanke Anderson, is http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-466159 and http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-869246 for ‘Darwin’s bulldog’ Thomas Huxley.

To further enrich Trove, the People Australia program, is collaborating with organisations that have information about Australian people and organisations in specific domains and fields, and is working with them to make this data and links to their sites available to all Australians.

What am I searching?

The People and Organisation view in Trove provides integrated access to almost 900,000 records about people and organisations. These records are sourced from a variety of Australian services including:

What can I find?

For a person or organisation record in Trove you can find:

  • biographical information drawn from different contributors, grouped together into a single record;
  • links to detailed information on contributor’s websites;
  • links to information about associated people and organisations;
  • associated resources by or about the person or organisation across various formats: books and text resources, maps, musical sound recordings, sheet music, folklore and oral history, newspapers, websites; and,
  • citable persistent identifiers.

Getting things

Can I buy books or other materials from you?

The Identity records in the People and Organisation program in Trove, all contain a link back to the contributor’s website and original entry. The contributor’s website may contain options for obtaining or purchasing resources.

General information


Contributors with online databases containing records about Australian people and/or organisations can contribute their metadata to the People Australia program for discovery in the Trove People and Organisation view. Contributed records are matched against existing records, associated with a People Australia identity record and added to the People Australia database. Each identity record has a citable globally unique persistent identifier for every person and organisation.

Contributors can also harvest or search the People Australia Identity records and integrate the data in their own systems, thereby enhancing their own metadata with additional information and links to information useful to their users.


The People Australia service has adopted a metadata harvesting model to harvest metadata records from contributors and to make the subsequent People Australia Identity records available for harvesting by contributors.

People Australia generally uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to ingest records and to make them available for harvesting from our service. Information about the protocol is available at http://www.openarchives.org.

Where a contributor does not currently support the OAI-PMH protocol the People Australia program will work with them to identify other ways of harvesting metadata.

Other ways of searching

SRU (Search and Retrieve via URL)

The People Australia SRU (Search and Retrieve via URL) interface provides access to all people and organisation identity records in Dublin Core, Encoded Archival Context (EAC) and ATOM format. SRU provides a standard web-based text-searching interface, utilises a rich query language called CQL (Contextual Query Language) and provides records in XML format.

The service address is: http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/srw/search/peopleaustralia


The People Australia OpenSearch interface provides access to people and organisation data in RSS and ATOM format. OpenSearch supports basic keyword searching and provides records in XML format.

The OpenSearch description file is available at: http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/srw/peopleaustralia-os-description.xml

The service addresses are:

ATOM: http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/srw/opensearch/peopleaustralia?format=atom&q={searchTerms}&s={startIndex?}

eg http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/srw/opensearch/peopleaustralia?format=atom&q=nolan

RSS: http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/srw/opensearch/peopleaustralia?q={searchTerms}&s={startIndex?}

eg http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/srw/opensearch/peopleaustralia?q=nolan

Record format

People Australia encourages contributors to provide their records using the EAC standard but other formats can be supported.

More information

More information on the contribution process, harvesting model and searching is available from the National Library of Australia Wiki for People Australia

People Australia development and architecture

Information on the People Australia development and architecture is available from the National Library of Australia Wiki for People Australia

The paper People Australia: a Topic-Based Approach to Resource Discovery presented by Basil Dewhurst, VALA2008 is available from the Conference Proceedings at http://www.valaconf.org.au/vala2008/papers2008/116_Dewhurst_Final.pdf

The paper Identifying researchers using People Australia presented by Basil Dewhurst at the Biometrics Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 16-17 April 2009 is available from the National Library of Australia Staff papers, 2009

Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) Party Infrastructure Project

The ARDC Party Infrastructure Project is an Australian National Data Service (ANDS) funded project being carried out by the National Library of Australia (NLA) to develop the infrastructure for making Australian researcher and research organisation records available and assigning persistent identifiers to their public personas.

The project will ensure that current information about Australian research and researchers is more accessible to the public via the Trove People and Organisations view.

To find out more and to access up-to-date news and information about the project visit the ARDC Party Infrastructure Project wiki.

Contact us

For further information on the People Australia program including information about how to contribute and/or access metadata please Contact us.