Strategy and guidelines

The National Library of Australia’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.

Progress so far

As of June 2017, a total of 271,969 collection items (consisting of 1,859,805 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.

pie chart

Number of items in the National Library’s digital collections by collection format, as of 30 June 2017. An item usually represents a single work and may be described by a separate cataloguing record or an individual entry in a finding aid. 

Collection format Number of items
Total 271,969
Books & serials 28,025
Maps 21,805
Manuscripts 22,330
Printed music 14,450
Pictures 185,359

Items can have an equivalent number of images, for example an individual photograph consists of one image file. Other items are represented by a large number of images. For example, a piece of printed music may consist of multiple images representing individual pages, or a map may consist of several parts each represented by a separate image file.


Digitisation and Photography Branch
National Library of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: +61 (02) 6262 1514