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Contributor funds help Trove upload new documents after NLA budget cuts

The Department of Communications and the Arts has told a senate estimates committee that groups have been funding the National Library of Australia’s digital archive Trove to continue to upload their documents after previously-announced funding cuts came into effect this year, reports the Canberra Times.

The National Library had funded more than 60% of Trove’s content from within its budget until the start of July. Since then, state and territory libraries and community organisations have been responsible for funding digitisation of new content for the collection.

Museums, universities and galleries, whose content was previously aggregated, have also been asked to provide funding if they ‘wish to expose their collections through Trove’.

In addition to the halt to the digitisation program, the NLA has closed reading rooms on public holidays, stopped stack retrieval on Saturdays and cut its publishing program.

Canberra MP Gai Brodtmann said the cuts had forced the library to turn Trove ‘into a business that only preserves the stories of those who are able to pay for it’. ‘Cutting a national institution’s budget hurts more than just the institution itself,’ Brodtmann said. ‘It impacts on the economy of Canberra, on the people of Canberra, and on the role of Canberra as the nation’s capital and our national story.’

The NLA said use of the service had not dropped, but resources were ‘not available’ to evaluate the cultural impact of the funding cuts. Reductions of about $1.46m in operating funding and $246,000 in capital funding are expected to be reached by 2019-20.



Category: Library news