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Trove is home to a wealth of Australia's stories. 

Bringing local histories online gives community stories new life.

Find your place on Trove.

Help others find theirs.

Help us to digitise the National Library's local history collections.

Donate to the Library's 2023 Appeal.

Find your place on Trove; help others find theirs 

Our online library, Trove, is used by millions of people each year. With over 12 million sessions on the Trove website in the past year, Trove is the most significant publicly funded online cultural resource after the ABC and SBS.  

Trove contains more than 40 million pages of digitised material that is freely available to everyone. But that is still a small proportion – less than 10 per cent – of the National Library’s physical collection. With your support, we will continue to make more and more of our collections available online through Trove.  

Uncover a landmark collection of local history 

Ian Francis McLaren (1912–2000) was one of the great Australian book collectors of his generation. He began collecting in 1946, and his collection includes around 25,000 items from all over the country.  

Local history material forms the largest part of this collection. There are thousands of pamphlets, booklets and brochures bought from booksellers, local government authorities, institutions and voluntary organisations from every state and territory in Australia.  

In 1965 the National Library acquired this local history collection.  

The original items in the McLaren local history collection are no longer accessible to readers in the Library building due to their fragility. With your support, they can be made accessible to the world. 

A sepia image combining several drawings depicting the gold rush with the words 'The Pioneer gold discoveries of Bendigo, Early Days'
Bendigo Quartzopolis, 1893, 

Bendigo Quartzopolis 

The 1893 pamphlet Bendigo Quartzopolis depicts the opulence of this central Victorian city towards the end of its boom period, from the manor home of the Quartz King George Lansell to the Bendigo City Brewery. Packed with baroque, kaleidoscopic photo collages of almost every facet of life in Bendigo, from back breaking mine labour to the heights of late nineteenth century leisure, Bendigo Quartzopolis is a beguiling slice of history. 

Views of Adelaide Old and New, 1836 & 1902 

Adelaide’s journey from its foundation to the early twentieth century is represented in stunning detail in R.S. Frearson's Views of Adelaide Old and New, 1836 & 1902, which compares sketches of a working-class frontier town in the 1830s to photographs of a developed, electrified city at the turn of the century. It is fascinating to see how much the South Australian capital developed over the course of the nineteenth century, and how much of Colonel William Light’s vision for the city persists more than 120 years later. 

Beautiful Brisbane: 36 New Views of the Pearl City of the Commonwealth 

The 1930s laid the foundation for the growth of Brisbane into one of Australia’s most beautiful and populous cities. Beautiful Brisbane captures Queensland’s capital mid-bloom, with City Hall and Anzac Square shiny and new and cranes still looming over the burgeoning CBD. A colourful sketch of Brisbane river from Hamilton Reach also captures the idyllic spirit that is still imbued in the city’s character. 

Canberra, A City of Flowers

Though you will not find the National Library of Australia or even Lake Burley Griffin on any of its pages, 1936’s Canberra – A City of Flowers enthusiastically promotes our national capital as a tourist destination barely twenty years after its founding. The descriptions of Canberra as the “world’s most unique city” by the Department of the Interior are accompanied by photographs of government buildings, nurseries, gardens and trees which stand proudly to this day.   

These are just four of the thousands of publications in the McLaren collection. With your support, they can all be made accessible to the world. 

Help us to bring a cornerstone of our historical collection available online

We know from speaking to so many of you that Trove is a powerful resource for connecting people to their stories.  

By helping us to raise $200,000 to share the local history collection on Trove, you will be empowering countless others to find their stories, and yours. 

Thank you for your generous support. 


An old blue ink decorated pale blue card with flannel flowers and the words, 'Beautiful Brisbane' in the top left. In the bottom right the words '36 New Views of the Pearl City of the Commonwealth'. an oval cut-out in the middle has a colourful painting of a steam ship on the river with a few houses and lots of green space around them.
Beautiful Brisbane: 36 new views of the pearl city of the Commonwealth, 1933, 

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