Digitisation of Library Collections

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 2013, a total of 201,909 collection items (consisting of 713,004 images) have been digitised. This includes pictorial material, maps, printed music, manuscripts, and selected books and serials. The table below illustrates the breakdown of the Library’s digital collections.

Number of items in the National Library’s digital collections by collection format, as of 30 June 2013

Number of items in the National Library’s digital collections by collection format, as of June 2013
Collection formatNumber of items
Total201,909
Books & serials8,111
Maps16,369
Manuscripts 8,993
Printed music13,926
Pictures 154,510

This table is based on the number of items in the Library’s digital collections broken down by collection format. An item usually represents a single work and may be described by a separate cataloguing record or an individual entry in a finding aid. 

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.

Contact details

Digitisation and Photography Branch
National Library of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600
Ph: +61 (02) 6262 1557
Email: digitisation@nla.gov.au