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Online and Free : 10 Reasons to use Trove in your Australian family history research

Trove is the National Library of Australia (NLA)’s repository for digitised newspapers. The internationally acclaimed program seeks to digitize all Australian newspapers dating from the earliest colonial times.

If Trove is not already in your Australian genealogy tool kit, then it most certainly should be and you are in for a treat. As I said in a previous blog article, Trove is the Australian taxpayers’ gift to genealogists.

Newspaper printing machine from Pixabay in a blog article by Your Family Genealogist about Trove

Here are 10 reasons why you should be using this fabulous online resource in your Australian family history research:

1. It’s online and it’s free at

2. It helps you find hitherto unknown information about your ancestors and their lives as well as provide pointers to other research lines for you to follow.

3. It has already digitised more than 18 million pages from over 1000 Australian newspapers dating back to the country’s first newspaper in 1803 (the Sydney Gazette) up to 1954. (Newspapers from 1955 are still in copyright although some newspapers such as the Canberra Times have been digitised with the agreement of the publisher.)

4. It has digitised many newspapers which no longer operate.

5. It has not only the obvious English language newspapers, but also foreign language newspapers published in Australia, including:




German; and


More foreign language newspapers are in the pipeline.

6. The newspapers are fully searchable and the results can be filtered by State, individual newspaper names, decade and type of article.

7. It has both an OCR version of the text as well as images. When you click on the relevant text in the OCR translation, the system takes you to the exact point in the article in the digitised copy on the same screen.

Due to the inaccuracies in the OCR translation, readers can also correct text as they come across errors (although this is optional).

8. Trove provides ready-made multiple citation styles for each article including:

a. APA;

b. MLA;

c. Harvard/Australian; and

d. Wikipedia.

9. The digitised newspapers are likely to contain articles and information about your ancestors which you don’t already know (particularly if they lived in rural areas where every facet of life in the local communities was reported). Or if you do know, the newspapers will probably add further detail.

10. You can learn valuable social history about the times during which your ancestors lived which in turn helps put your ancestors’ activities into context.

A full A-Z list of the newspapers digitised to date can be found here.

No account is needed to search and retrieve newspaper articles, although this function is available. A Trove account will be needed if you choose to participate in correcting errors in the OCR text.

I can’t tell you just how much information I have discovered about multiple ancestors in Trove dating back to 1854. It is literally a treasure trove for Australian family history research.

If you have any questions about using Trove, don't hesitate to ask me in the Comments section below.

Enjoy searching through Trove.

Therese Lynch

Your Family Genealogist

Picture : courtesy of Pixabay

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