Friday, July 27, 2012

Expert Facebook Q&As :: Trove Australia

Well, that was a hour of history power! Thanks again to Virginia and Mark from Trove Australia! Here is the blog of our second Expert Facebook Q&A including links. We promise to have Trove back for another Q&A soon! Remember, if you have other burning questions you’d like to ask you can use Trove’s contact form here.

Don't forget our Expert Q&As happen every Thursday night on the Inside History Magazine facebook page.

When: 8:30-9:30pm EST | WA: 6:30-7:30pm WST | SA - NT: 8:00-9:00pm CST | Weekly on a Thursday night

Summary of links from the Trove Expert Q&A:

Transcript of Expert Q&A - How to get the best from Trove:

Welcome everyone, thanks for joining us tonight. The rules are simple. Try to keep your questions concise and focused on Trove, that will help Virginia and Mark to answer as many as possible in the hour that we have.

Q. Hi Virginia, I've spoken to quite a few history teachers in NSW who aren't aware of TROVE. They love it when they try it and all swear they're going to share with their senior students. Are there any plans to raise awareness of Trove to teachers?
A. Virginia: ‎@James Definitely! We're actually going to be presenting at the History Teachers conference! We feel the education sector is one area we need to try and engage with more!
A. Virginia: @James, if you have ideas that we could do to engage with the school sector more, please do contact us! We'd love to know how Trove could help schools and teachers more.
A. James: Virginia, maybe do a tag team presentation with National Archives - They have the Vroom site which has themed archive records.... I reckon they're really good for younger students but think Trove could scaffold for senior students
A. Virginia: ‎@James, That's a good idea! We do think Trove is more for senior rather than primary, but need to find good ways of appealing to teachers.
A. James: Hmmm. I think it's just awareness of how powerful a tool it is. If you set up a curriculum linked program question that structure in the need to quote original sources found on Trove in the reponse, teachers would probably see a range of interpretations based on sources. Great way to open a topic on multiple interpretations!
A. Virginia: James I'm going to note that one down James. :)
A. James: It's funny, I just realised that I never log in to Trove even though I use it a lot.
A. Virginia: Tsk, James, you're missing so much. ;) You could correct text without having to enter the captcha, create lists, merge/split records, make public or private comments.
A. James: I do have one because I have corrected quite a few early Sydney Gazette articles in the past....Need to get back in there!
A. Virginia: Go for it James. ;) Dare you to get into the top 5 text correctors.

Q. Hi Virginia & Mark. As an industrial-strength Trove user I love the site, but is there any hope of changes to the copyright issues so we can access newspapers post-1954?
A. Virginia: ‎@Lyn... that would be up to the copyright council or the copyright owners. We've received approval from the Canberra Times to go post 1954 but unless we get permission we can't go beyond 1954. :(
A. Mark: Hi Lyn, There is work in progress to get some post-1954 newspaper titles up in Trove. We aren't directly involved in the selection of the newspaper titles for digitisation, however I do know that there are about 7,700 newspaper titles published prior to 1954, so as these are more straightforward to get in they have been the focus (as are the 1914-1918 papers for the state libraries)

Q. I am interested in future plans and the papers that shall be scanned in future. Is there a list somewhere?
A. Mark: Hi Sharon - future titles list at - this list is updated irregularly, but definitely in June/July each year
A. Mark: selections are made on an annual basis - although sometimes additional titles are added in during the year as specific funding is provided

Q. The Queensland country newspapers have been a wonderful bonus, especially in our area the Nambour Chronicle. Are there any more Queensland provincial city papers to come?
A. Mark: Hi Helen Page - have a look at the list of future titles
A. Helen: just checked the link to coming titles too - great to see the Country Life and Sunday Mail in Queensland list!

Q. Do you know of any plans to digitise the Renmark South Australia Murray Pioneer? It's a treasure of history pertaining to a huge area along the Murray from over a hundred years ago. It claimed a circulation of over 500 miles of river front in the 1920s.
A. Mark: Hi Helen - have a look at the list of future titles, I think there are a couple of more regional titles in there - specifically from renmark
A. Helen: or the MIldura Sunraysia Daily?
A. Mark: Renmark Pioneer is selected for the next year's digitisation, unfortunately we can't provide a date that it will be available. Mildura Sunraysia daily isn't currently selected

Q. HI, I am investigating pilgrimages to Gallipoli 1919-1939, and find that it is hard to pin down actual stories, any hints, please
A. Virginia: ‎@Christine, Hmmm... have you found anything at all so far?
A. Virginia: ‎@Christine, Interesting... I just did a quick search for Gallipoli pilgrimage in Trove and there are over 1500 articles in newspapers did you find those?
A. Lyn: Thanks Mark, we live in hope! @Christine, if you just search Gallipoli Visit in Trove digitised newspapers you will find a few references starting from 1919. Once you have names of people you may be able find any diaries, books etc that are in public institutions.
A. Virginia: ‎Thanks Lyn! :) It's great that we have power users that can help other users! We hope to promote the Forum more so these kinds of questions can be shared and answered by other users. :)
A. IHM: Hi Christine Alexander, try putting keyword Gallipoli into Tim Sherratt's querypic tool that graph's Trove results ::
A. Christine: @Virginia, yes I have but it is so time consuming when you get 2 or 3 thousand hits, but what a fantastic resource, love it
A. Christine: graph thing brilliant, many, many thanks
A. Rhonda: That querypic link is AWESOME! Thanks!

Q. When I tag items, is there a way I can then just visit all the pages I have tagged?
A. Mark: You can visit just the articles you have added a specific tag to by selecting your username in the top right hand corner of a screen, the select the 'tags' tab, and click on the tag that you want to see the articles you've added that tag to.

Q. I tagged about 20 articles with the same name and only one remains. Have they been deleted?
A. Mark: @Lyn - tags shouldn't have 'vanished', could you please put an enquiry with your username & the tag that has gone missing so we can investigate it properly?
27/07/12 update: This issue has been resolved, after Lyn submitted details of the problem via the Trove contact form.

Q. I'm in the process of putting together funding to get a title on there. But is there any way you would open some form of donation site where people can donate towards specific titles?
A. Virginia: ‎@Linda For digitisation of a newspaper title? That's fantastic that you're getting funding together! We've got information on how to do just that here:
A. Linda: Hi Virginia, yes, wonderful way to go. We have almost got there, have talked with NLA re exact amount etc. But we have several small runs for towns where I am sure if a site was open, enough people would donate to get those titles up there. Maybe if a starter was lodged to get a title up on a donation site, then people we don't even know about would finish it off.
A. Virginia: ‎@Linda, Oh that's so good you're on the way! I'll mention it to ANDP but you may want to talk more with Wan Wong about things like for newspaper digitisation donations. Wan's email is
A. Linda: or maybe if Trove put the first ten years of a paper up, and it went on in ten year increments as people donated enough. We will raise the $7,300 to get the 1855-1868 total run of this paper up (don't rely on that figure people, as it is a page count thing), but now we have our teeth into it, we want more!
A. Virginia: ‎@Linda, LOL, that's great! Sorry I can't be more help. Unless you think setting up a pozible yourself could help at all...
A. Virginia: ‎Wow Linda, that's amazing! What a donation! Kudos to you!
A. Linda: @Inside History - would be good if you did a story on someone like us, so people knew you can get papers onto Trove like that. One promise of $2,000 came in as soon as I mentioned the project - person did not realise this was an option.
A. IHM: Hi Linda Barraclough, a great idea! Let's talk on

Q. I am researching locks and weirs on the Murray River. It is a bother that the word lock returns so many hits, but I do advanced search and put all the words together: eg Lock 5 River Murray. Is there a 'smarter' way to search when I have to use combinations and permutations, Like "Number 5 lock, river murray" or 'Murray river lock 5' or Lock number 5 River Murray." It scrambles my brain.
A. Mark: @Helen There is indeed a smarter way to search for the various permutations, Trove has a 'near' search functionality that can be used to catch these - so for 'Murray river lock 5', try putting "murray river lock 5"~5 in the search box - this will find all articles that contain these terms within 5 words of each other -

Q. Is there a way to use 'wildcards' to search? In my family history, with name spelling variations, it would be great to put a * in place of a letter variation?
A. Mark: Helen - unfortunately we don't have this functionality in Trove - if it is the 'last' characters that are changed around you can cut the word off at the last common character and add a * to truncate the word, but we don't have the ability do replace a single character with a wildcard.

Q. Helen: I run the Quested one name study and often get re- quested in search results so can I do a negative search within 5 words?
A. Mark: This should be possible - so I can investigate it properly, can you please put in an enquiry through the contact us form with a sample search / scenario?

Q. IHM: Thanks to everyone for attending, that was a brilliant Q&A. Thanks especially to Virginia and Mark! To finish, what would be your Trove golden rules - to Virginia and Mark?
A. Virginia: Just search... play... try advanced search... look at the help (which we're re-working!!!) and if all else fails, contact us.
A. Mark:
  1. Start simple - Although advanced searches are useful, they also make it easy to over-think the query and miss important results
  2. When searching newspapers, don't forget that newspaper titles change over time, so you may need to look at the title details pages to see which other newspapers you need to look at to capture all of that newspaper
  3. Trove is more than just newspapers - it can also help you find a library that holds that elusive book (or sheet music, or photograph)
  4. has some helpful tips on how to enhance your newspapers search.
  5. If searching for a name where you only have a surname, try using the near search with a title - e.g. "Mr Black" ~2 - you may be surprised at the results
* Read more about Trove in other posts on this blog:
[1] Graphing Trove - Papers Past newspapers


  1. Aaaah, yes, crowd sourcing. The idea is wonderful, but to be able to tap into the people who would probably donate to specific newspapers, it would probably need to be embedded somehow in the Trove website. Which would probably be against NLA/Government policies. But we can dream.
    Thanx for a really great Q&A.

    1. Dreams often come true if you believe in them :) Thanks to help make the Q&A such a success - good questions makes for good answers!

  2. Oh I feel so silly, forgot that I removed some tags and built a list instead! Sorry Mark, thanks for your assistance. Maybe the Lists tab should be next to the Tags tab in the User Profile?