Speak up for Trove

UPDATE: Thank you for speaking up for Trove – your support helped secure ongoing funding for this national treasure. It was on 3 April that the federal government has promised $33m over the next four years to the National Library of Australia to fund Trove, with $9.2m ongoing and indexed funding July 2027. The announcement has come as an enormous relief to not only the library and information sector but all those who use and recognise the value of this essential infrastructure. 

About Trove

Trove is Australia’s national portal offering free, public access to Australia’s history and culture. The service connects people with collections across the country.  From writers, researchers and students to everyday people exploring, Trove offers the ability to search more than 6 billion digital objects that tell the story of Australia.

Hundreds of organisations contribute to Trove, ranging from national bodies through to local groups such as the Deniliquin and District Historical Society. Thousands of individuals contribute their time and effort each year to support Trove, and the people using it.

The risk

The National Library of Australia (NLA) only has funding to run Trove until July 2023. Without further funding the Library will be unable to maintain Trove as the service we know and love. If that happens then people would no longer be able to use Trove to search the collections, and access to the objects that tell Australia’s story would be out of reach for most Australians.

Trove’s government funding sits within the funding for the NLA in the Arts portfolio. The Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, has indicated that funding will be considered as part of budget deliberations. The Government is currently working on the Federal Budget which is due to be handed down in May 2023.   

What you can do

Trove is an invaluable resource for Australia and Australians. However despite its importance, Trove is facing a funding crisis. This is why it is so important that we come together as a community to support Trove and advocate for the funding it needs to continue its work.

You can help support Trove by:  

  • Writing to MPs and Senators to help them understand the issues and the importance of secure, ongoing funding for this essential infrastructure.
  • Encouraging other people who will be impacted and/or care about Trove’s funding to write and talk about the issue.
  • Sharing local news coverage or other activities that call for ongoing funding for Trove.
  • Sending media coverage you come across through to [email protected] as we will be collating the stories. 

Recommended reading

Australia’s cultural treasure Trove hangs in the balance, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 March 2023. 

The treasure that is Trove: why reference librarians love it, State Library of Victoria, 15 March 2023. 

How to write in support of Trove

Any letter is better than no letter! Letters can be physical or email, and you can find the contact details for your local MP, Senators and Ministers here. 

The letters that have the strongest cut-through are those written from personal experience. So if you have a Trove story to tell, if Trove has been important to your work, your community or your family, please put that in.

If you are stuck, the following talking points might help:

  • Explain why Trove is important to you. For example
    • As a researcher, I use Trove to research changing land use patterns in WA
    • As a fiction writer, Trove is a source of inspiration for me, and provides the details needed to bring my historical murder mysteries to life.
    • As a member of the local historical society, we used Trove to support a recent exhibition on the history of the local school.
    • As a member of the public, I used Trove to research my family.
    • As a teacher I set my class an assignment using Trove to look at how writing for the media has changed in Australian over the decades.
  • I am extremely concerned to read reports that Trove does not have secure, adequate funding to maintain current services and to improve and grow.
  • (If you or your organisation has contributed to Trove) I/we have contributed to/volunteered for Trove over x years. I/we have done this because of the importance of Trove and its role making Australia’s culture accessible to everyone.
  • Trove is an essential part of Australia’s cultural infrastructure.
  • Trove needs secure and adequate funding into the future so that we don’t lose access to Australian stories.

I/we ask that you take action to secure sustainable funding for Trove, now and into the future.