A laptop sitting on a desk with a stylised purple book on the screen.

New ways to search

The National Library of Australia has launched its modernised Catalogue making it easier for patrons to search the Library’s collections.

Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres FAHA, said: ‘The modernised Catalogue offers new ways to explore the National Library’s collections. For example, the Finding Aids that describe the contents of archival boxes and other collection items are now searchable and linked online. This will allow researchers to uncover new connections between the precious letters, papers and other documents in the National Library’s collections.’

Director of Reader Services, Kathryn Favelle said: ‘Upgrading the Catalogue has been a major project for the Library. I’ve been telling our patrons it’s like moving from having a fax machine to a smartphone. I’m looking forward to helping people learn how to use the Catalogue.’

Project Manager, Terence Ingram said: ‘We have been planning to upgrade our previous Catalogue for many years. Since July 2022, we’ve been building the redeveloped Catalogue with a focus on the experience of discovering, uncovering and requesting the collections.’

The backend system is managed by open-source software platform Folio, and the user interface by Blacklight. These systems have been created by library professionals, vendors and developers working together to create an IT solution that supports core library management functions like cataloguing, circulation, acquisitions and eResource management. Visit: Catalogue Home | National Library of Australia (nla.gov.au)


Cathie Oats, National Library of Australia


Fast facts

The NLA Catalogue records, describes and indexes some of the National Library’s collections. Ahead of the launch the team:

  • Transferred approximately 17.5 million records into Folio
  • Organised 14 training sessions for the public
  • Made new videos, webpages and guides to help the public learn to use the new Catalogue.