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Open data and Trove

Open data is defined by The Open Data Handbook as data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.

Open data allows systems to talk to each other, to become ‘interoperable’, and this interoperability means that different sets of data can be joined together to create new services and products. An example of this is the history of Bathurst High School on Trove, created from digitised historic newspapers and photographs in the collections of the National Library, State Library NSW and Royal Australian Historical Society.

Getting your collections on Trove

Trove uses a variety of methods to obtain data from contributors, including harvesting rich metadata directly from websites, the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), Harvest Control List, RSS feed, Sitemap, and custom APIs (application programming interfaces).

For detailed information see the Trove technical guide and the case study Easy as ABC – a triumph of re-usable metadata.

Using the Trove API

The Trove API provides data in a machine-readable form, enabling users to create new applications, tools and interfaces. The API allows developers to search across the records for books, images, maps, video, archives, music, sound, journal articles, newspaper articles (full text) and lists and to retrieve the associated metadata.

With the API, it is possible to:

  • display results from Trove on another website
  • harvest Trove records to include in another database, or for offline analysis
  • retrieve tags or comments added to records
  • create new tools and visualisations

See the Building with Trove API overview for more information on steps to getting started.

Other ways of making your collections accessible online

There are many ways of making your collections available online using free services available on the internet. One example is the photo sharing site Flickr. Images added to Trove: Australia in Pictures on Flickr flow through to Trove itself. The images must meet certain criteria in order to be added (listed under ‘Group Rules’ at the bottom of the Flickr page).