Dec 26, 2022

The National Library of Australia Is Threatening to Pull the Plug on Trove

The National Library of Australia is threatening to pull the plug on Trove, its free online service that provides public access to collections from Australian libraries, universities, museums, galleries and archives.

In its recent Trove Strategy, the library has indicated that without additional government support, it will shut the service down by July next year:

The future of Trove beyond July 2023 will be dependent upon available funds […] In a limited funding environment, Trove may reduce to a service focused on the National Library of Australia’s collections. Without any additional funds, the Library will need to cease offering the Trove service entirely.

It’s been nearly seven years since the #fundTrove campaign, a response to budget cuts to the National Library of Australia in 2016. (These were part of the Turnbull government’s “efficiency dividend”, which cut $20 million from the budgets of six Canberra-based cultural institutions over four years.)

That campaign resulted in a government funding package for Trove intended to rescue the popular service, which was topped up with more cash last year.

But in recent months it has become increasingly clear the National Library of Australia was never cured of its funding ills, and Trove was just on life support.

You can read more in an article by Zoe Smith and published in The Conversation web site at:

My thanks to newsletter reader Neil Murray for telling me about this story.

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