Government announces more money for National Library’s Trove service – but more needed for NLA and other national cultural institutions

Finance Minister Gallagher has announced $33m of extra funding for the National Library’s highly valued and much used Trove service. Further pre-Budget announcements are expected affecting the cultural institutions.

For earlier stories covering the range of needs of national cultural institutions, particularly the National Gallery of Australia, see our home page, under the heading, ‘Cultural policy: why do some institutions do well while others rot?’

The Australian War Memorial, which does do well, has dropped hints that it, too, might need more money for its Big Build: here; here. Watch this space.

Update 5 April 2023: Government announcement of boosted funding for nine cultural institutions

Update 4 April 2023: Minister Gallagher still keen on efficiency dividends.

Message from NLA Director-General

Dear Petherick community,

You may have read or heard the news this morning that the Albanese Government has announced $33m over the next 4 years to maintain Trove, with $9.2m ongoing and indexed funding from July 2027. As you can imagine, we are delighted that Trove’s future has been secured and you can read more about the new funding here.

Trove is a place for all Australians. It is a truly national treasure, and an international world leader. The overwhelming support we have received from the Trove community (both new and old) has been humbling. We take our role as the custodians of Trove, on behalf of the Library and our partner organisations, very seriously. We are grateful to the tens of thousands of members of the Australian community – including members of the Petherick community – who made their views on Trove’s value very clear to the Government.

This decision gives the National Library certainty of funding for Trove for the first time and we are so pleased to know we can provide this essential service into the future. While the funding is not sufficient to extend or significantly enhance Trove, we will be enriching it with new content, and we can now stabilise and secure the platform at a technical and operational level. We retain our ambition to transform Trove into a truly modern, national platform as articulated in the Trove Strategy, and will continue to seek significant funding to achieve that vision. The more gradual changes we can now make in coming years will be guided by that strategy.

Of course, we still face challenges – with storing the growing collection, sustainability, and caring for our heritage building – but we remain optimistic. Our capital works program is progressing well, and I am pleased to advise that, from today, the collection material housed on the fourth floor is now available to researchers again. This includes approximately half of the Library’s unique manuscript collections, as well as rare Asian books. While the roof replacement project is not yet complete (above or below!), the roof is watertight and risks to the collection have been mitigated with final completion later this year. I encourage you to continue checking our website for updates and please contact Ask a Librarian for advice on accessing the collections you need.

Have a great week.

Kind regards,


Dr Marie-Louise Ayres FAHA  |  Director-General  |  she/her/hers
02 6262 1390 |  |  National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

3 April 2023 updated

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