Contributing to Trove

The Technical Specifications for Contributing provides information on formats, including examples.
Current Works lists Trove contributors.


Institutions around Australia and the world keep records that describe the items in their collections. Trove brings together these records and makes them available to the public in a single discovery service. Some records come to Trove from aggregation services, such as the Australian National Bibliographic Database (accessible via Libraries Australia). Other records come to Trove directly, such as research outputs (eg. theses, conference papers etc.), digital image collections, biographical data about people and organisations, and more.

The information below describes different methods available to contribute records to Trove. If your organisation is ready to begin contributing records to Trove please contact us. If you would like to contribute to Trove as an individual please see the FAQ.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Organisations need to sign the National Library of Australia’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to become a Trove contributor.

Please print two copies of the MOU and have both signed and witnessed. Both copies should be posted to:
Trove Support Team
National Library of Australia
Parkes Pl, PARKES
ACT 2600

If you have questions about the MoU please contact us

Contribution methods

There are a number of ways organisations and individuals can contribute Trove. This diagram gives an overview of the various methods.

Most records in MARC format are stored in the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD). Organisations with MARC format records should consider joining Libraries Australia to upload their collection to the ANBD. There are advantages to contributing MARC21 or MARCXML to the ANBD, including the ability to use the Trove ‘Copyright status’ tool. All records are automatically transferred from the ANBD to Trove in near real time.

Authority records or biographical information about people and organisations are accepted straight into Trove. The accepted format is Encoded Archival Context – Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families (EAC-CPF). Please see the ARDC Party Infrastructure Project for more information. These records specifically load to the ‘People and Organisations’ zone.

For other collections, Trove relies on a process called harvesting to take in data directly from contributing organisations. A piece of National Library software called the Trove harvester visits an organisation’s online system and takes a copy of the records that organisation would like to share. Harvesting happens on a regular basis, usually daily or weekly, but this will depend on the organisation’s needs. Accepted records are primarily in Dublin Core format. They are harvested using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), a Harvest Control List, RSS feed, Sitemap or custom API. The metadata records must be available over the Internet. More detailed information on how to directly contribute via OAI-PMH or a Harvest Control List is available on the Technical Specifications for Contributing page.

For an API, RSS feed or Sitemap contact us to discuss how Trove can interoperate with your system.

Records in other standards (eg. MODS) can also be contributed to Trove. Please contact us to discuss options.

NUC Symbol and locating records

A National Union Catalogue (NUC) Symbol is a brief collection identifier issued and maintained by the National Library of Australia in the InterLibrary Resource Sharing Directory. All organisations contributing to Trove require a NUC symbol. Organisations are welcome to nominate their pre-existing NUC Symbol or request a new one for a particular collection. A NUC Symbol can be obtained by filling in the New Service Notification Form at the ILRS Directory.

NUC Symbols help determine which contributor a record came from. For Trove to differentiate between separate libraries/collections within an organisation, each collection should use a separate NUC Symbol.

A Trove search can then be restricted to a single collection. Either conduct an Advanced Search limited to the collection, or enter the search term nuc:NUC. For example a search on nuc:ANL will return all records from the National Library of Australia, whose NUC Symbol is ANL.

Optimising Display

The better the data provided, the better the record will display in Trove. Detail and richness of data will allow Trove to index records more thoroughly. This ensures records appear in more search results to the relevant users. To discuss the quality of your data please contact us.