The world is waiting, just follow the link

The world is waiting, just follow the link
Helping you find the best result in Trove
4 June 2015

In a country so defined by its natural beauty it seems appropriate that one of the greatest Australian monuments is not the work of man but the patient power of time and the abrasive touch of the sea.

For most of its history since settlement the most famous aspect of Port Jackson was its hidden entrance. The entrance to Port Jackson was a defining feature of the entry to the colony of New South Wales, from the arrival of the ‘First Fleet’ in 1788 to the post-war migration of the 1950s and 1960s.

 A quick picture search on Trove for ‘Entrance Port Jackson’ yield results from a variety of sources. Finding the most relevant images for your research may mean browsing through the results and finding relevant information to ensure you’ve found the best results.                                         


When looking at a picture in Trove, the first thing to remember is that it has not just one record, but two. The first is the Trove record, which is an aggregated version of a record from an organisation which we’ve transformed to suit Trove. The record may look the same after we’ve brought it into Trove, or it may change. The reason for this is that Trove records need to conform to a particular type to make objects more discoverable. This can result in the Trove record having less information than the original, so the simplest way to ensure you’re getting the whole story is to click through.

Let’s start with this image by the artist George Raper c. 1791:


George Raper (1769-1797), Entrance of Port Jackson when close under the South Head  1791, Part 3 of Raper, nla.pic-an21511990-3 

This image captures the narrow gap in the coastline forming the entrance to Port Jackson. If the date is correct it is likely that Raper painted this landscape on his return from being stranded on Norfolk Island. The image is part of a three picture object in Trove, but if you click on the thumbnail in the Trove record you can see the item has been broken into sections. Having individual items enables better magnification, viewing and of course ordering copies from the library in which an item is held. So remember the thumbnail is just the start.


Contrasting with the stark cliffs drawn from sea level, the convict Joseph Lycett provided a view of slow settlement across Port Jackson. It was a settlement that had begun to impinge upon the lives of the Indigenous population. Due to the content of the image, it has been deemed by some organisations as 'culturally sensitive'. Different organisations will have different ways of managing culturally sensitive material. In this case there are two recorded items one held by the State Library of Victoria, one by the National Library of Australia:

 View of the Heads, at Entrance to Port Jackson, NSW - Trove

Clicking through to the National Library will enable you to view a copy of the image immediately, while clicking through to the State Library of Victoria will allow you to view a copy once you have agreed to the Library’s conditions:

Conditions of Use - State Library of Victoria

The reason for this difference is the idea of end use. The State Library of Victoria have determined that it is important to have agreement from the end user that the image will be used appropriately, while the National Library has determined that at the present time this is not necessary. You will find this is a common feature for a lot of libraries when dealing with potentially sensitive material.


A more romanticised image of the heads was painted by Edmund Thomas in 1857. The image below hints at the ever present danger of travelling into Port Jackson, the ship in the background is pitching to its side on a choppy sea, while the recently wrecked ship, The Dunbar is slightly visible in the middle distance.

Entrance to Port Jackson - Edmund Thomas

Edmund Thomas (1827–1867), Entrance to Port Jackson  1857, State Library of New South Wales

As mentioned above, we transform the record to help you find it, and sometimes this means simplifying the record. There is often more information on the website of the organisation who gave us the record, so clicking through to the holding organisation may result in you finding important information like acquisition information and collection history. As can be seen in the two records below:

Entrance to Port Jackson - Trove and State Library of NSW


On occasion you may get different images living in the same record, for example, the Frank Hurley image below has two different pictures which are clearly different. This occurs when Trove groups things which have the same title and the same creator together. If we listed each one separately then you’d have more results in your search list. If every library that holds Pride and Prejudice listed them separately it’d take a long time to find Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This is true for pictures too. On these occasions it’s very helpful to have thumbnails!

The Entrance to Port Jackson from Neilsen Park - Trove

Once again clicking on the content or the holding information will take you to an original record.

Frank Hurley (1885-1962), The Entrance Port Jackson from above Nielsen Park  [1910–1962] nla.pic-an23817428

This is, of course is only a small selection of the collections available on Trove. The best way find images you like is to search for yourself. When you do, just remember that Trove is your entrance, there is a world of content waiting behind the link.

Very interesting place and memorial picture that imagine in the past time. Great Trove Best all
Under the first heading, Viewing, the wording above the George Raper image should read c. 1791 not c. 1971.