If you’ve been anywhere near social media in the past few weeks, you will more than likely have seen the huge news about the proposed budget cuts to the National Library of Australia.
On hearing this the Australian genealogy and history world is in shock wondering how anyone could do such a thing to this national treasure. This would be devastating. Admittedly they are not saying that they will close it, but rather cut funds and staff – which will mean less services, and slow down digitisation projects.
Trove truly is the heart and soul of Australian history. Where else can you search over 473 million records at your fingertips?
“Find and get over 473,929,852 Australian and online resources:
books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more”
Trove is used by around 70,000 people each day. The historians (family, social, local, military, medical and numerous others) are already having their say on this topic, but the usefulness of Trove and goes way, way beyond the genealogy and history world – a fact which has been highlighted by the number of people from different genres who have been showing their support.
The #fundTrove campaign has started with people having their say about the funding cuts, and how important the NLA and Trove is as a resource for everyone. With endless stories of people saying “I never would have found this, without Trove”. I think every one of us can relate to that. And now the #fundTrove campaign is going global, with many people from overseas also chipping in on how much they use, and love Trove.
I’m not going to go into a long spiel, as others have said it so well … so I’ll direct you to their posts instead. Please take the time to read, as it is an important matter for Australia and Australia’s history.
The place to start is Tim Sherratt’s post titled #fundTrove. A recent former manager of Trove, he tells how he saw a tweet from his local ABC radio station saying “NOW: @nlagovau informs its staff of budget cuts”. From there the word of the government funding cuts for the NLA has spread far and wide.
ABC News – Trove online database’s future in doubt due to National Library funding cuts
Canberra Times – Australian and international arts institutions, researchers throw support behind Trove
The Australian – The researcher’s treasure, Trove, is under threat
This is just three of the many articles that have appeared in the media recently. See Tim’s #fundTrove post for more down the bottom.
We must have our say and do all we can to prevent these cuts from happening.
You Can Help …
Tim Sherratt lists a number of things that we can do now:
– Tweet or post about the value of Trove using the hashtag #fundTrove
– Write to Senator Fifield (or other government members) – the folks at the eScholarship Research Centre at Melbourne University have already drafted a sample letter.
Keep up to date …
– Like the #fundTrove Facebook page
Sign one or all of these petitions …
1. Fund Trove! created by Edwina Byrne on Megaphone.org.au
2. Stop Cuts to National Library of Australia & Save Trove created by Paddy O’Toole at Change.org
3. Stop the Australian government from wrecking Trove created by Ian Gardener at Change.org