More Australian Archives to get much needed funding

We all heard the absolutely fabulous news from the Australian Federal government in their May Budget, about the National Library of Australia and Trove receiving funding, but I will admit to missing the fact that they were only 1 of 9 Australian cultural organisations to share in over $530 million dollars in funding million over the next four years. Yes, it’s true.

And there’s no doubt that this funding is needed. Afterall the organisations have faced funding cuts for years, which resulted in less staff, and less staff to do the required tasks needed to preserve our heritage and the records that go with it. And then there’s the cost of mantenance to the buildings, for which there was simply no money available … until now. So this is fabulous news, not only for the National Library of Australia, but all of these important archives.

National Library of Australia (and Trove)
The National Library of Australia gets the biggest increase in funding with $146.2 million over the next four years. That includes funding specifically for the Trove program which offers digital access to historical documents, along with money to expand its storage and fix its main building in Canberra, which was seriously damaged in a severe hailstorm in early 2020. **
More info =>

Australian National Maritime Museum
The Australian National Maritime Museum welcomes $23 million in funding from the recent Federal Budget. Ms Daryl Karp AM, Director and CEO said, ‘We are delighted that the government has established a cultural policy and is supporting and investing in the arts, culture, and community. ‘This announcement gives us much needed short term and ongoing funding – in the first instance, to do urgent work repairing and maintaining our fleet, wharves, and ageing infrastructure. The ongoing uplift will help to alleviate the pressure that the Maritime Museum faces with the rising costs of suppliers, labour and ongoing maintenance of our harbourside site.’
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Bundanon Trust
Australian Prime Minister, The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, announced $33 million in funding for Bundanon. This funding will give Bundanon a sustainable future, allowing it to grow in the new infrastructure, reach new audiences, and build and deliver innovative exhibitions, live programs, multi-disciplinary residencies and learning opportunities for all ages within the landscape of the Shoalhaven, on south coast NSW. As the only National Collecting Institution in regional Australia, Bundanon has an important role to play in shaping the nation’s cultural identity.
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Museum of Australian Democracy – Old Parliament House
The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MoAD) welcomes the funding announcement by the Prime Minister and Minister for the Arts of $37.9 million over 4 years. MOAD’s role is to protect and preserve the significant heritage building of Old Parliament House (OPH), and to celebrate the spirit and stories of Australian democracy and the power of our voices within it through exhibitions, content and programming.”‘This funding commitment is a testament to the importance of this building and its place in Australia’s history. It will allow us to strengthen our historical interpretation, collections, exhibitions and digital engagement programs to share with all Australians”.
More info =>

National Archives of Australia
National Archives of Australia will receive $36.5 million in the next Federal Budget. With over 45 million items in their care ‘an additional $36.5 million for National Archives means we can continue to digitise records and make accessible our vast and growing collection. We hold records and items of significant importance to our nation including military service, immigration, First Nations Australians and much more.’
More info =>

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) will receive an additional $41.9 million in Federal Government funding over four years to digitise the nation’s at-risk audiovisual heritage.
More info =>

National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia will be given a $76 million “booster” to bolster its operations and an extra $42 million to fix its leaky building, under a federal government boost hailed by its director as the most significant since the institution’s opening.
More info =>

National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia in Canberra has applauded a federal government announcement of a major $78.3 million funding boost over the next four years, in the upcoming federal budget.
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National Portrait Gallery of Australia
From their Facebook page … “Like our fellow national collecting institutions, we’re so incredibly uplifted to hear this morning’s funding announcement! As the new kids on the block, funding of $27 million over four years will be absolutely transformational.  We are so very grateful for the ongoing and unprecedented support provided to us by the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese; the Minister for Finance, Katy Gallagher; and the Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke MP.  With this increased funding, we plan to proactively continue to enhance the understanding of the Australian people – our identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity – through portraiture”.
More info =>

** I note that the amount mentioned here for both the National Library of Australia and Trove is significantly higher than the reports I read earlier. So if this figure is correct, that’s even better news for not only yhe NLA and Trove teams, but for everyone using their facilities, both online and in person.

A huge thankyou to the Australian government for this funding. It was so desperately needed for these organisations to be able to preserve, protect and share Australia’s history with the world.

Trove is Saved!

Researchers around Australia, and indeed around the world, are breathing a huge sigh of relief at the news that the Australian Federal Government is giving a much needed cash injection to Australia’s national treasure, the National Library of Australia and Trove.

In its upcoming May budget, the federal government has promised $33 million over four years to the NLA.

The NLA, which runs digital archive database Trove, will also be separately allocated funding of more than $9 million — a move the government said would secure the future of the service for years to come.

So this is fabulous news, not only does the National Library of Australia get much needed funding, much of which is needed to upgrade the NLA building itself – the building that holds so much of Australia’s history – Trove gets allocated funds too.

With newspapers, diaries, magazines, photos, gazettes, newsletters, maps, artefacts, books, diaries, letters, music, audio and video, and so much more, the Trove website is truly a portal of Australian history, to the world.

National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia (Flickr: aussiejeff)

On Trove you can find more than 14 billion digital items primarily relating to Australian history, and now with ongoing funding, that number will continue to grow.

So a big, big thankyou for everyone who signed the various “Save Trove” petitions, and to those who wrote to their local Members of Parliament to voice concern over the potential closure of Trove. Our voices have been heard, and thanks to the ongoing funding, we can now continue to use our favourite website for all of our research.

For more about the announcement, have a read of these articles:

National Library welcomes announcement of ongoing Trove funding
Trove secures funding as federal government comes to rescue of National Library of Australia’s digitised archive
Australia’s Trove Receives Lifeline with $42.2 Million Funding Boost
Trove funding secured in 2023-24 Federal Budget

National Library of Australia’s 2023 Community Heritage Grants are Open

The National Library of Australia (NLA) is calling for applications for their 2023 Community Heritage Grants. The grants of up to $20,000 are available to community groups such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups around the country to help preserve locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible including artifacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and audio visual material.

The types of projects supported include:
– significance assessments of collections
– preservation needs assessments of collections
– conservation activities and collection management, and
– training workshops.

Run annually since 1994, the program has provided more than $8.4 million dollars in funding to over 1,600 projects across Australia.

Applications MUST be made online, no mailed or emailed applications/documentation will be accepted. You can find all the details regarding application guidelines, and the application form on their website.

Applications for new applicants will close on Monday, 8 May 2023
Applications for those who have recently completed a Community Heritage Grant project and are applying for the next stage will close on Thursday, 1 June 2023
Applications for training projects will close on Thursday, 1 June 2023

If you would like to discuss your project or have any queries, please email the CHG Program Team at

Please, Help Save Trove

For any Australian historian (family, local, or social historian) Trove is the ultimate GO-TO site. It is the National Library of Australia’s site, which is accessed by around 20 million people every year, and contains about six billion (that’s right BILLION) digital items, including news­papers, magazines, photographs, journals, parliamentary papers and more … and it’s all FREE!!

However due to huge funding cuts over a number of years, and the fact that Federal funding for the National Library of Australia’s digital resource ends in June 2023, means that Trove could cease operations, or at least in its current form.

What if there was no Trove?
But to us researchers, a life without Trove is as unthinkable as life without Google.

This is Australia’s primary institution, the one that provides access to not only what the National Library of Australia itself holds, but access to holdings from 900 or so other Australian institutions. This is portal for Australia’s heritage, and yet depite it being used on a globa scale, is being treated as unimportant.

What can we do?
We have been asked to use our voice (well technically fingers), to sign a petition, and spread the word far and wide. But there is a time limit … the petition date is 22 February 2023. So we don’t have much time.

There was a petition for this topic, but it’s been said that the government only acts on “official” petitions. So another one was started by the same person, and this official petition will be presented to parliament. So if you care about access to Australia’s history, even if you don’t use Trove, please take a few moments to sign the petition.


And if you want to read more about what the organisations are saying, here are links to a number of articles about it:

[banner graphic used with permission from GenealogySA]