NLSA libraries have welcomed the Australian Government’s recent announcement pledging $33 million over the next four years to maintain Trove, to be followed by ongoing annual funding for the platform. This is the first government commitment to ongoing, secure funding since Trove’s inception.
Launched in 2009, Trove is a collaboration between the National Library of Australia (NLA) and hundreds of partner organisations and community groups, including Australia’s six state and two territory libraries. Through sustained commitment from the NLA, and the financial or in-kind contributions of its partners, Trove has run for 14 years as a free online research portal to Australian materials, including over 14 billion digitised artefacts, newspaper pages and oral histories.
When the NLA announced that the future of Trove was in doubt without a major funding injection to upgrade its digital infrastructure and support annual running costs, Australia’s libraries joined the rest of the GLAM sector, humanities researchers and Trove’s legion of personal users to campaign all sides of government and rally support.
In his funding announcement, Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said: “Trove is, in many ways, Australia’s digital memory: It records and retains some of our most important stories, moments, challenges, controversies and successes in one accessible location. Whether you’re using it to look up a bit of family history, or for academic research, Trove is an incredibly important part of our national cultural institutions.”
Australian members of NSLA look forward to continuing to work with NLA to enrich Trove with new content. We do so now in the knowledge that the platform will be stabilised and secure, and that access to our rich digital collections will continue to be free for the general public.