How can we help you?

How can we help you?
Introducing the new Trove help centre
6 June 2014

If you’re anything like me then you probably think that help documentation is that thing you read after absolutely everything else you can think of and tried has failed. When users do turn to help they are often frustrated – they just want a quick and simple answer to fix their problem. With this in mind, we've created a brand new site for our documentation. Read on to find out what’s inside our new Trove help centre.

We thought it would be a good idea to break our help content into three distinct sections based on the type of user that would find them most useful. The three sections or zones are:

  • Using Trove - for beginner and intermediate users;
  • Content partners - for organisations who want to contribute their metadata records to Trove;
  • Building with Trove - for developers who are interested in creating applications and web services using Trove’s API. 

Using Trove has been designed for our beginner and intermediate users. If you’re not sure where to start or what you can find in Trove, or you’re just looking to improve your search techniques, then this is the place for you. If you’re new to Trove then you will find our Getting started guides, screencasts, and step by step instructions a great way to learn about everything Trove has to offer. For those of you who already know how Trove works, you may pick up a tip or two in our Power searching and Handy search tips page, or maybe even learn about a feature you didn’t know existed. Hopefully, you'll find everything you need to know about Trove here!  

Our Content partners zone has been created for organisations that would like to contribute their metadata records to Trove. This zone contains instructions and technical guidelines that contributors can use when setting up repositories or preparing their data for Trove. If you're interested in finding out how we get millions of items into Trove then have a look at our Technical guide.

We are quite excited about the Building with Trove zone. ‘Building with Trove’ is where you can learn how to use Trove’s API to create your own services and applications.  The Application gallery and Experiments pages contain great examples of what our users have been creating – we hope this inspires developers to dive in and build something of their own. One of my favourite services built using the API is In a word: Currents in Australian affairs, 2003-2013 developed by our very own Dr Tim Sherratt, you can read all about it in one of Tim’s earlier blog posts.

The Trove team would love to see more developers using our API. This new spot gives us the chance to support developers, and more importantly show off their creations.

Our users let us know that it was difficult to find help content in the old system. One of the changes that you'll find useful is the ability to simply search all our help content instead of having to browse through pages of text. We don’t want to discourage users from browsing, but we do want to make content quick and easy to find.

The content management system we have chosen to use is Drupal. The Library uses Drupal to manage most of its websites and using one content management system (CMS) simplifies administration and maintenance for our wonderful IT team. One of the biggest advantages of a CMS is that we have the ability to reuse content. We can create a training package for Family Historians and only include content that is pertinent to their needs.  

We’re hoping that the task-based information architecture, ability to search, and introduction of zones helps more of you learn how to use Trove to its full potential.

We would love to hear any feedback you may have, what would you find useful, what do you like or hate about Trove’s new help centre? You can submit your feedback through our contact us form.


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