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Trove, the National Library of Australia’s (NLA) public online database, has grown to include over 6 billion individual items. These include everything from newspapers and magazines to photographs, parliamentary papers, government and organisational reports, theses and research, audio, video and books. These are items from the NLA’s archives as well as contributions from over 1,000 organisations across Australia. These groups have been contributing thousands of volunteer hours to the task of preserving, collating, digitising and describing important artefacts from Australia’s history. They did this safe in the knowledge that it would then be maintained and safeguarded for future generations.
Trove is only funded until July 2023. Without further funding people will no longer be able to use Trove to search the collections and discover the stories of Australia’s history.
By David Phillipson
Trove is an incredible resource. History Guild uses it regularly. When we were researching our article about the ‘Scrap Iron Flotilla’ we wanted to know more about it’s commander, the Benella born and raised Hec Waller. What we found allowed us to paint a full picture of him as a person. We discovered an article from a 1918 Tasmanian newspaper reporting that he topped his class at the Naval Academy. We went on to read several articles from the Benella Ensign during WW2 which followed his career; awards and decorations, stories of his valour, his return home on leave and finally his death in combat.
All this information was easy to access and free for everyone. Without Trove this would not be the case. The resources that the NLA and partner organisations have built over many years must be preserved. This needs secure funding.
We have support from within Parliament for this funding.
Trove is an essential service that democratizes knowledge. I call on the government to step up and provide the National Library of Australia with the funding it needs.Dr Monique Ryan MP
However, this is not sufficient. The government has not committed to funding Trove. We must demand that they do so.
How can you help?
- Sign the Parliament of Australia e-petition. This closes on the 22nd of February.
- Sign the Change.org Petition.
- Write to your local Federal MP. You can find their contact details here.
Trove is a world leading history database and resource. Australians must ensure that it remains so.
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The text of this article was commissioned by History Guild as part of our work to improve historical literacy. If you would like to reproduce it please get in touch via this form.