It’s an exciting time for library collections in the age of digitisation. Online collections increase accessibility, research opportunities and creative possibilities (read more about the discourse around digital archives here). Which makes the revelation of two major online redevelopments highly significant: Trove, which is run by the National Library of Australia, and the State Library of NSW catalogue.
The online library database Trove was launched in 2010, as “a revolutionary new free search engine.” Rather than searching individual library collections, a user can now search for photos, manuscripts, books, music, videos, newspapers from 1803 onwards, maps and archived websites through Trove directly which will collate search results from over 1,000 libraries instantaneously.
Trove has been revolutionary for providing access to information for the public, including for research and investigation into local history. For example, read about Emma Curtin’s investigation of a 1929 murder or in the spirit of the current Mardi Gras Festival, why not browse the digitised back issues the iconic Sydney publication Lesbians on the Loose?
The new Trove website is open for a sneak peak from 14 February until 5pm AEDT 24 February, ahead of its official launch in late June 2020. The new website has a fresh user interface, new logo and even a Trove trivia corner. Other features include curated landing pages, cultural sensitivity notifications and a news feed including details of titles coming soon to Trove. Visit trove.nla.gov.au to view the site or watch a full walkthrough video here.
State Library of NSW Catalogue
The State Library of NSW has established itself as a leader of digitisation best practice. It’s DX Lab, an innovation think tank, is one example of how the Library is using data and technology to create accessible and thought-provoking programs (its program #NewSelfWales was awarded an M&G NSW IMAGinE Award just last year).
The Library recently launched beta testing of its brand new digital catalogue which spans books, journals, magazines, newspapers, pictures, manuscripts, maps, objects, audio and music. The new site addresses issues that users have with the current site and prioritises intuitive functionality. Other features include improved search result listings; improved image viewer with faster load times and higher resolution images; and custom built book viewer with full-text search. Further features will be released in stages; the details are available on the Catalogue preview: roadmap.
View the new catalogue at collection.sl.nsw.gov.au and read about the project here. The old catalogue is still live and can be accessed here. The Library is requesting feedback on the new beta site, which is easily done by clicking the ‘Have your say’ tab that appears on each page. Users can type general feedback or even highlight sections of the page and draw directly onto the page. There is currently no deadline for feedback and the final launch date is yet to be set.