Trove Content Inclusion Policy

Trove Content Inclusion Statement

Trove provides access to more than 380 million resources produced by Australians, about Australia or of interest to the Australian community.

This document provides a brief overview of types of content currently available through the service. As content will change over time, this document will be updated on a biennial basis.

The types of content available through Trove are as follows:

  • Full-text digitised Australian newspapers, journals and books processed by the National Library of Australia, including text corrected by Trove users.
  • Full-text transcripts of selected Australian Broadcasting Commission current-affairs programs.
  • Full-text transcripts of oral history recordings from the National Library of Australia.
  • Bibliographic, authority and holdings data contributed by Australian libraries to the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD). ANBD data is also available through the Libraries Australia service, which supports the collection-management activities of Australian libraries.
  • Finding aids or lists describing large manuscripts, pictorial or other collections held by Australian libraries.
  • Descriptive metadata and links to resources which are owned and managed by Australian cultural institutions, such as galleries, archives, museums, historical societies and libraries, and which are not contained in ANBD. The resources include pictures, printed and recorded music, manuscripts, archived websites and research outputs from Australian universities and were previously made available via a suite of Library services, including Picture Australia, Music Australia, Australia Dancing, Australian Research Online, the Register of Australian Archives and Manuscripts and PANDORA: Australia’s Web Archive.
  • Metadata and links to international, public domain scholarly resources in multiple formats via the OAIster service and the Hathi Trust. Full text of some resources is unavailable to Australian users.
  • Article-level metadata and links to licensed resources available to members of subscribing Australian libraries, focusing on a core set of licensed resources held by members of National and State Libraries Australasia and of Electronic Resources Australia.
  • Metadata, full text and links to further descriptions about people and organisations from a range of sources, including specialist Australian biographical services.
  • Tags, annotations and lists created by Trove users, including subject experts.

In addition, Trove searches for relevant resources in a range of third-party websites, including Google, Wikipedia and online booksellers.

March 2014

Trove Content Inclusion Policy

The Trove Content Inclusion Policy defines the scope and nature of inclusion of Australian and overseas content for the National Library of Australia’s Trove service.  This is a revised edition of the policy and was issued in March 2014.  The policy will be revised on a biennial basis. 

The policy provides guidance for Library staff, other libraries and contributors, users and the general public on Trove’s content development activities as well as providing information on the scope and depth of Trove’s content. 

The Trove Content Inclusion Statement summarises content currently available in Trove and will be updated on a biennial basis.

If you have any comments about the directions set out in the policy, please contact us

1. Foreword

The National Library has a proud history of collaborating with other libraries and cultural institutions to make the nation’s collections available for use by the Australian people.  The Australian Bibliographic Network (ABN)­­ – the National Library’s first online collaboration, established in 1981 – built on earlier decades of cooperation with Australian and international libraries.   From the launch of the ABN to the launch of Trove in 2009, nearly 40 years later, the National Library has built a range of collaborative online services which aim to make collections in Australian galleries, libraries, archives, and museums and other cultural institutions discoverable and sharable. 

The National Library Act 1960 provides a mandate to co-operate in library matters.  The Library interprets ‘library matters’ in the broadest sense of ‘information matters’ in its work on these collaborative services. 

The Library regularly evaluates the Content Inclusion Policy against changing circumstances.  We welcome comment about the directions set out in this document. 

Anne-Marie Schwirtlich

2.    Introduction

The Trove Strategic Directions statement and Trove Scope statement outline the Library’s aims and intentions for Trove.  

3.    Aim of the Content Inclusion Policy

This Policy defines the scope and nature of the inclusion of material within Trove with a view to providing:

  • A public statement on Trove’s current inclusion policies for Australian and overseas materials
  • A practical framework for National Library staff selecting content for inclusion in Trove
  • A guide for other Australian libraries and Trove contributors, to enable cooperation in the discovery and exposure of national collections. 

This policy describes our intentions, rather than the content currently included in Trove.  The Content Inclusion Statement  is updated annually. 

4.    Scope of Content Inclusion

Trove includes all content and collections held, managed and delivered by the National Library, but its content extends far beyond the Library’s collections, and its mission is to be a national, not a National Library, discovery service.

Trove includes digital content that can be searched and used within the Trove environment (e.g. digitised newspapers), freely available and licensed digital content that can be reached via but is not directly delivered by Trove (e.g. digitised pictures delivered via State Library websites, electronic articles delivered by publishers of licensed eResources), and metadata (e.g. catalogue records) describing physical or digital content which is not available online. 

Trove focuses on managed collections under the stewardship of galleries, libraries, archives and museums rather than the output of individuals or individual publishers.  With the exception of user-generated content [see section 7], Trove does not include content directly acquired from individuals.

With the exception of digitised content managed by the National Library, Trove collects metadata describing content rather than the content itself.  Many of these metadata records provide links to online content; many others describe physical content which is not available online.

Metadata describing content requiring additional steps for access is primarily sourced from Libraries Australia [see section 5], which aggregates the catalogues of Australian libraries.  Trove may include other large sets of metadata for non-online content held by Australian cultural institutions, but will normally only do so in the context of adding digital content available online from the same institution, and where the Australian public will benefit from increased opportunities to discover Australian content which is not available online but may be made available to the public in other ways.  Trove will not normally include non-Australian metadata sets for content which is not available online.   

As well as prioritising addition of digitised content from the National Library, and descriptions of items held in Australian libraries (some of which can be accessed online), Trove prioritises addition of freely available digital content created by Australians, about Australia, or of interest to Australians.

Selection decisions on digital content for potential inclusion are based on how well small (e.g. the 261 fact sheets from the National Archives of Australia), medium (e.g. the 90,000+ digital images collection of the Powerhouse Museum) and large (e.g. the nine million international digital images, scholarly articles and theses aggregated by OCLC’s OAISTER) content sets adhere to the Content Inclusion Policy, the overall utility and quality of the content, its relationship to existing Trove content, the costs of including the content in Trove, and the extent to which the content is accessible to Australians. A significant body of freely available digital Trove content ‘of interest to Australians’, but not created by Australians, is sourced from large international content aggregators. These are chosen on the basis of how they connect with content in Trove.

Trove also includes selected licensed content of interest to Australians.  As this content is only available to registered patrons of subscribing libraries (who can access the full content using Trove authentication infrastructure), this is a lower priority for inclusion in Trove (see section 5). 

Across Trove’s three categories (digital content delivered directly by Trove, digital content reached from Trove, physical content described in Trove but requiring additional steps to access) Trove includes publications, original materials and electronic resources. 

Publications include books and other monographs, serials, newspapers, ephemera, music, atlases, maps, and audio-visual material.  Original materials are unpublished and include manuscripts, private and government archives, pictures, oral histories, and archival audiovisual material.  Electronic content includes digitised copies of items from contributors’ collections, ‘born digital’ material such as eBooks, electronic journals articles, digital images, personal digital archives, websites , commercially published online content; and physical format such as CD-ROMs, DVDs and floppy disks. 

In addition to content contributed by cultural institutions and publishers, Trove includes content generated by users.  This includes tags and comments on Trove content, computer generated text corrected by users (e.g. corrections to digitised newspapers in Trove), and user-created Lists which draw together Trove content on specific topics, and – if desired – the List owner’s notes. Rather, Trove works with libraries, other cultural institutions, and aggregators of content (such as Flickr and OAIster) relevant to Trove. 

5. Collecting guidelines for categories of content

Library catalogues

Trove includes all content contributed to Libraries Australia where licence conditions permit; if content is in scope for Libraries Australia, it is automatically in scope for Trove.  This means that any item – Australian or non-Australian, digital or physical – that is held and has been catalogued by an Australian library contributing to Libraries Australia is included in Trove. 

In addition, the following categories of content are in scope for inclusion in Trove. 

Digitised newspapers

All digitised Australian newspapers managed through the National Library’s Newspaper Digitisation Program (NDP). 

Australian newspapers are digitised collaboratively, with the National Library providing infrastructure for digitised content. Digitisation of Australian newspapers is subject to Copyright provisions, however some publishers have given permission for newspapers to be digitised beyond what the Copyright Act allows, facilitating inclusion in Trove. 

The Library regularly updates information on digitised newspapers recently added to Trove and titles to be added to Trove in the next year

Newspaper content digitised outside the National Library’s NDP cannot be delivered in the same way as content managed through the NDP, and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

No Australian cultural institutions are currently collecting online newspapers (in either web or mobile versions, with the exception of ‘snapshots’ of some newspapers collected in the PANDORA archive), due to significant technical and copyright challenges.  Trove therefore does not actively pursue online newspaper content for inclusion in Trove, although some current newspaper titles may be licensed.

Digitised books and journals

All books and journals digitised by the National Library and included in the National Library catalogue will be included in Trove. This material will be subject to the same terms and conditions as the Digitised newspapers.

Full text books from sources other than the National Library

Full text public domain books and other monographs (or parts thereof) available through Australian and international services such as the Hathi Trust and Project Gutenberg. 

In determining priorities for inclusion, the Library considers the extent to which full text monographs can be made accessible under Australian Copyright law, and the resources required to include the content. 

Full text articles

Full text articles freely available through individual Australian research repositories, through aggregators, and included in some licensed eResources to which many Australian libraries subscribe. 

This includes electronic articles aggregated by the Australian publisher, Informit (these articles are primarily by Australians and/or on Australian subjects), and by the international publisher, Gale (these articles may or may not have an Australian focus, but are included in databases to which a large number of Australian libraries subscribe).  This content is only available to patrons of libraries which subscribe to the databases.  The National Library does not intend to increase either the number of publishers or databases included in Trove. 

Research outputs

Research papers and datasets contributed to and managed by Australian university research repositories.  This includes Masters, Doctoral and some Honours theses produced by students at Australian universities. In addition, research papers and other material aggregated by the OAIster digital collection service

The majority of OAIster content is not created by Australians or about Australia, but represents the collective research and digital collections of more than 1000 universities and research libraries.

Scholarly indexes which provide enhanced access to Australian documentary heritage – including indexes to material that is available in digital form via Trove – are in scope for inclusion.  Priorities for inclusion of indexes will be determined by the extent to which the index provides additional or enhanced access to Trove content, and the resources required to integrate indexes with digitised content. 

Documentary content

Many documentary resources – such as pictures, maps, archives, music, oral history) and archived websites – are contributed to Libraries.  Other collections can be contributed directly to Trove by organisations other than libraries, or where the material is not in scope for Libraries Australia.  While many organisations contribute their digital collections only, metadata describing documentary content which is not available online is also in scope for Trove. 

Documentary content – in either digital form, or in the form of a record describing a resource which is not online and requires additional steps for access – includes:

Pictures documenting Australian history and society, including activities of Australians overseas, and pictures held by Australian cultural institutions.  While photographs form the largest proportion of pictures in Trove, paintings, drawings, engravings, posters and other pictorial formats documenting Australia or documenting the works of Australian artists and photographers are also included. 

Objects documenting Australian history, technology and society, including objects held by Australian and international cultural institutions.  While Australian libraries hold and describe many such objects, the majority of these objects are held, managed and exhibited by museums. 

Notated music, especially music created by or associated with Australians.  This includes sheet music, scores, parts, and books in published and unpublished forms, and in physical and electronic formats. 

Audio, including recorded music, recorded spoken word, and transcripts of recorded spoken word.

Recorded music, especially recorded music created, performed, produced by or associated with Australians.  This includes recorded music in all physical and electronic formats, including online music.  Archival and commercially released recordings are in scope. 

Recorded spoken word, especially oral histories or interviews documenting the lives of individual and groups of Australians, or archived broadcast content of cultural value.  This includes recorded spoken word in physical and electronic formats.  Archival and commercially released recordings are in scope.

Transcripts of audio recordings, covering Australian current affairs, history and heritage.  This includes transcripts of radio broadcasts and archival oral history recordings, and transcripts available in physical and electronic formats.   

Film and multimedia, created, directed, produced by or associated with Australians.  This includes moving image in all physical and electronic formats, including content delivered online.  Archival and commercially released films and multimedia, in both physical and online formats, are in scope.  

Maps, especially maps of Australia and its Asia-Pacific neighbours.  Map collections can include sheet maps, charts, atlases, gazetteers, aerial images, globes and electronic spatial data in physical formats and databases. 

Personal and organisational archives when held in larger collections at cultural institutions.  These include single items, large archives created by individuals and organisations in the course of their day to day activities, and ‘formed’ archives created around a particular subject area.  Personal and organisation archives can consist of handwritten, printed or electronic material.  Most archives included in Trove are described at the ‘collection level’ only.  Some archives are described in more detail via finding aids (some of which can be searched through Trove).  A small fraction of personal and organisational archive content is available online. 

Government records.  Trove currently contains a small volume of Commonwealth and Australian state records, principally in the form of pictorial collections.  However, all records which are available for public use are in scope for inclusion in Trove.  These records can be available online or require additional steps to access. 

Collections of ‘ephemera’.  This includes material such as leaflets, brochures, handbills, menus, invitations, brochures, programs and cards documenting local, social, political, business and performing arts activities. 

Archived websites.  This includes Australian websites in the PANDORA archive (described in Libraries Australia) and Australian websites collected by libraries and cultural organisations, but which are not included in the PANDORA web archive. 

Other content of documentary value.  Trove may deem other content not listed above as being of significant research or cultural value and therefore in scope. 

6.    Collecting methods

All data contributed to Libraries Australia (with the exception of a set of records sourced from Serials Solutions) is automatically added to Trove; Libraries Australia contributors do not need to take any further action to secure inclusion in Trove. 

Contributions to Trove – other than those contributed via Libraries Australia – are governed by a Memorandum of Understanding.  The Library uses a range of methods to add content to Trove.  The Trove Harvester is used to regularly collect records describing content from contributing organisations, using a variety of mechanisms.  Records describing people and organisations are added directly to Trove via the infrastructure jointly developed by the Library and the tertiary sector: the Australian Research Data Commons Party Infrastructure Project (ARDCPIP).  

Further information on contribution options is available via the Trove Guidelines for contributors.

When prioritising content for inclusion in Trove, the National Library takes into account the ‘readiness’ of  potential contributors and the resources needed to add content to Trove. 

7.    User generated content

Digital photographs contributed to the Trove: Australia in pictures Flickr group by individuals or organisations are included in Trove. 

Members are encouraged to contribute contemporary or historical images of local or national significance.  Members are also encouraged to provide sufficient metadata to support discovery Library staff do not select individual images from the group.  All contributed content is included, with the Library reserving the right to remove unsuitable images from the group and therefore from Trove. 

Users also add content in the form of tags and comments about content discovered through Trove, and by collocating and annotating Trove content in their Lists. 

Users also improve Trove content by correcting machine generated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text from newspaper images. 

Tags, comments, corrections and entries and notes on Trove Lists will be maintained only if the content they relate to remains in Trove.

8.    Responsibilities for managing and preserving content

The majority of digital content discoverable via Trove is owned and managed by organisations other than the National Library.  Contributors are responsible for the long-term management and preservation of content, and its online delivery.  The National Library encourages and advises on best practice standards for born-digital and digitised content through publications on its website, but recognises that many organisations need to take an incremental approach to achieving best practice.  Content selected for inclusion should be managed to a degree of robustness that means users can reliably and persistently access content discovered through Trove. 

Tags, comments, lists and text corrections created by Trove users are managed by the National Library. 

9.    Access to content

Searching Trove is free to any user anywhere in the world.  However, not all content is freely and immediately accessible.  Trove includes the following categories of content:

  • Digital content which is freely available online and is in the public domain.  The National Library encourages contributors to specifically identify digital content which is in the public domain and can be freely re-used by adding notes in metadata describing their content.  However, not all contributors have this information or have made it available.  In many cases, requesting high resolution copies of public domain works requires additional steps and the payment of a processing fee to the contributor. 
  • Digital content which is available online but is not in the public domain. Many Trove contributors have gained permission from copyright owners to digitise content and to make low resolution copies of this content online.  In many cases, requests for uses other than study and research require permission from copyright owners. 
  • Digital content which is licensed and is only available to patrons of institutions subscribing to that content.  This includes full text articles included in commercial databases (eResources) and eBooks. 
  • Physical resources which are not available online.  Many contributors of these resources support Inter Library Loan or Document Delivery options to assist users to access these resources, subject to Copyright requirements.  Some physical resources may be purchased through online retailers.

10.  Accessibility

The National Library strives to meet W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.  In 2012, Trove received a Statement of Accessibility from Vision Australia which verifies that Trove met the AA level of conformance against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.  However, as a majority of online content available through Trove is managed by other organisations, the Library cannot guarantee that all discoverable content conforms to the guidelines.  While meeting the guidelines is not a prerequisite for including content in Trove, the Library encourages contributors to consider accessibility issues. 

11.  Relationships with other discovery services

Trove has relationships with many online discovery services, and uses these interfaces to display content of interest to Trove users. 

All records in the National Library‘s online catalogue are contributed to the Australian National Bibliographic Database, which available through the Libraries Australia service.  All records included in Libraries Australia (with the exception of a set of purchased MARC records provided by Serials Solutions) are contributed to Trove.  Libraries Australia records are also included in OCLC’s WorldCat service

Where possible, Trove records are deep linked to the catalogues of contributors so that users can see whether specific non-online content is available for use. 

The majority of Trove content is available for re-use in third party websites via the Trove API.  This means that content included in Trove may become available in a variety of other services which are outside Trove’s control.  Non-commercial users are free to include Trove content in their websites subject to agreeing to the Trove Terms of Use and to including the ‘Powered by Trove’ attribution.  Commercial users must discuss requests to re-use Trove content before harvesting.  The National Library retains the right to agree or refuse requests to re-use Trove content in commercial services.

Trove provides links to ordering services for some institutional contributors, and to online retailers such as Amazon and Book Depository. Book and album covers, and reviews are also included in Trove via these links.

In addition, Trove indexes relevant content from external services including: Google, Wikipedia, online booksellers such as Amazon and Book Depository, and the Australian Broadcasting Commission. 

Trove content is indexed by a number of search engines.  The majority of users arrive at Trove content via a search engine. 

12.  Removing content

The Library retains the right to remove content from Trove at any time.  Under Trove’s Memorandum of Understanding with institutional contributors, and Terms of use, and Privacy policy, for individuals, the Library may choose to remove content that is considered to:

In addition, content may be removed:

  • If institutional contributors reduce or downgrade contributions to the point where continued inclusion is considered not to be in the best interests of users
  • If institutional contributors’ management and delivery infrastructure become unreliable to the point where continued inclusion is not considered to be in the best interests of users
  • If the costs of maintaining reliable access to institutional contributors’ content are too high to sustain.

Trove is indexed by search engines.  When content is removed from Trove, the National Library contacts search engines to request re-indexing.  However, content formerly available through Trove may remain discoverable via search engines for some time following removal from Trove. 

In addition, Trove content is made available for harvesting via an Application Programming Interface (API), and re-use in third party websites.  While the National Library asks organisations harvesting results from Trove to periodically re-harvest results so that content deleted from Trove is removed from their datasets and third party websites, this removal cannot be guaranteed.  This means that content deleted from Trove may still remain available on the Web. 

In keeping with Australia’s Privacy Act 1988, the Library will not remove personal information that is in the public domain, for example names and birth dates contained in public domain newspaper articles.  However, the Library will endeavour to negotiate positive outcomes where personal information is used in ways that might highlight that information, e.g. through user generated Lists. 

The National Library will work with a wide variety of cultural institutions and other organisations to maximise Australians’ access to content documenting Australian life and society, so that they can enjoy and learn from the rich collections of Australian cultural institutions and discover Australian and other content provided by international organisations which share the National Library’s values and aims.