The National Library of Australia is committed to enabling access to library collections, and digitisation is one of the most effective ways to achieve broad, equal access by every Australian. 

The Library started digitising its collection material in the early 2000s and have built up expertise in digital capture, managing digitisation projects at scale and caring for the resulting digital objects into the long term. Staff in the Library have deep experience with digitising material in all formats including fragile material. The Library is a world leader in delivering digitised content online on our digital library platform Trove.

As of June 2019, 5.5 million images have been digitised from the Library's various collections. In addition 22.6 million pages of newspapers and two million pages of government gazette have been digitised and made accessible on Trove.

Strategy and guidelines

The National Library’s approach to digitisation of its collections is described in its Collection Digitisation Policy. The policy outlines the Library’s strategy on managing its digital collections and providing access to them. The guiding principles for the processes involved in digitisation are also described.

Working with digitisation partners to digitise Australian newspapers, journals, books and other Library collection items is a key strategy to expand the digitisation program to make Australian library collections freely accessible online. In the past few years the digitisation program has also benefitted from specialised Australian government funding.

Digitisation of the Library's collections

As of June 2019, a total of 5,508,008 images have been digitised. This includes pictorial material, maps, printed music, manuscripts, books and serials. The table below illustrates the breakdown of the Library’s digital collections.

Number of images or pages in the National Library’s digital collections by collection format, as of 30 June 2019 

 
Collection format Number of images
Total 5,508,008
Books & serials 3,178,019
Maps 89,025
Manuscripts 1,855,143
Printed music 157,737
Pictures 228,084

 

Digitisation of newspapers and gazettes

In close collaboration with state and territory libraries, and with support of many digitisation partners, the Library has digitised over 1,500 newspapers corresponding to over 22.6 million pages as of June 2019. They represent a wide variety of localities, languages and historical periods. The NSW Government Gazette (1832-2001) and the Commonwealth Australian Gazette (1901-2012) have also been digitised. 

Contact

Digitisation and Document Delivery Branch
National Library of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: +61 (02) 6262 1514
Email: digitisation@nla.gov.au