The National Library of Australia is a leader in enabling online access through digitisation. As of June 2017 1.86 million images have been digitised from the Library's various collections. In addition 21 million pages of newspapers and 1.1 million pages of government gazette have been digitised and accessible on Trove.

Strategy and guidelines

The National Library’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.

Working with digitisation partners to digitise Australian newspapers, journals, books and other Library collection items is a key strategy to expand the digitisation program to make Australian library collections freely accessible online.

Digitisation of the Library's collections

As of June 2017, a total of 271,969 collection items (consisting of 1,859,805 images) have been digitised. This includes pictorial material, maps, printed music, manuscripts, books and serials. The table below illustrates the breakdown of the Library’s digital collections.

pie chart

Number of items in the National Library’s digital collections by collection format, as of 30 June 2017. An item usually represents a single work and may be described by a separate cataloguing record or an individual entry in a finding aid. 

Collection format Number of items
Total 271,969
Books & serials 28,025
Maps 21,805
Manuscripts 22,330
Printed music 14,450
Pictures 185,359

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.

Digitisation of newspapers and gazettes

In close collaboration with state and territory libraries, and with support of many digitisation partners, the Library has digitised over 1,300 newspapers corresponding to over 21 million pages, as of June 2017. The NSW Government Gazette (1832-2001) and the Commonwealth Australian Gazette (1901-1957) have also been digitised.


Digitisation and Photography Branch
National Library of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: +61 (02) 6262 1514