Peak bodies advocate for Trove

PEAK BODIEs call on Infrastructure Minister to support Trove

Canberra, 15 March, 2016: The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Museums Australia (MA) and National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) have written to Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure, asking him to extend the definition of national infrastructure to include Trove (trove.nla.gov.au), the nation’s gateway to books, photographs, newspapers, maps, historical documents and many more items.

As a consequence of the 2015 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Statement, Trove funding has been cut back. This will result in many smaller institutions across Australia being unable to afford to add their digital collections to this national knowledge infrastructure.

ALIA CEO Sue McKerracher, Museums Australia National Director Alex Marsden and NSLA Executive Officer Kate Irvine said, “Infrastructure investment is typically directed towards roads and major construction projects but doesn’t reflect our increasingly digital world. For less than the cost of upgrading just 250 metres of highway, a $12 million injection for Trove would be a step change in the development of a platform and resources that have already proved to be of enormous value to researchers in the humanities, science and industry and which have added to Australia’s reputation for world class knowledge infrastructure overseas.”

While it began as an initiative of the National Library, over the last five years Trove has achieved the position of a national asset representing collections right across the galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) sector. As a result, 10 GLAM peak bodies have signed a statement of support for Trove.

“This is an unprecedented level of collaboration across the sector and shows the weight of support from the research, arts and general community for the Australian Government to find a creative way of funding Trove.” 

The signatories to the statement are the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA), Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA), Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD), Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS), International Council of Museums (ICOM), Museums Australia (MA), National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) and University Art Museums Australia (UAMA).   

ENDS

For more information:

ALIA Communications Manager Heather Wellard 0409 830439 heather.wellard@alia.org.au

ALIA CEO Sue McKerracher 0404 456749 sue.mckerracher@alia.org.au

Museums Australia National Director Alex Marsden 0478 881091 director@museumsaustralia.org.au

NSLA Executive Officer Kate Irvine 0408 991525 kirvine@slv.vic.gov.au

And read this media release from the Australian Academy for the Humanities.

GLAM peak bodies statement of support

10 March, 2016: At their 25 February 2016 meeting at the Melbourne Museum, the GLAM Peak Bodies agreed to put their combined weight behind Trove as an essential component of the national research infrastructure.

Developed and implemented by the National Library of Australia, Trove is seen by the GLAM Peak Bodies as a platform that provides a robust national portal to the cultural riches of our galleries, libraries, archives, museums, historical societies. It supports digital collections from diverse organisations across Australia and is the nation’s gateway to books, photographs, newspapers, maps, historical documents and ephemera.

The GLAM Peak Bodies acknowledge the vision and leadership of the National Library of Australia in collating one of the largest digital cultural collections in the world and a model that has led the way internationally. For researchers in the humanities and social sciences especially, it is a unique and highly valued resource. It equally enjoys strong community support throughout urban and regional Australia.

Since its release in 2010, Trove content has increased exponentially. There are now 471 million items in the digital collection, with more than 20 million unique users each year. This demonstrates the enormous appetite for cultural content to support education, research, industry, community and especially the arts and creative industries.

A consequence of the 2015 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Statement is that libraries, museums, archives, historical societies and smaller institutions across Australia will be unable to add their digital collections to Trove without paying. This will hamper the development of our world leading portal and will be a major obstacle to exposing the collections of smaller and regional institutions. Without additional funding, Trove will not fulfil its promise as the discovery site for all Australian cultural content.

The GLAM Peak Bodies urge the Australian Government to recognise Trove’s role as the national platform for digital cultural collections from across the GLAM sector and to fund it accordingly.

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), The Australian Society of Archivists (ASA), Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA), Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD), Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS), International Council of Museums (ICOM), Museums Australia (MA), National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), University Art Museums Australia (UAMA)      

Download the statement as a pdf here.

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