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Catalogue preview: frequently asked questions

1. Why does the Library  need a new catalogue?

Despite our best efforts in improving our existing catalogue over the last few years, our readers have continued to face issues accessing our collections. The new catalogue addresses these ongoing challenges and our vision is to enable readers to search and browse the Library's collections more easily, intuitively and enjoyably.

2. Will the new catalogue replace the existing catalogue? 

Yes, eventually. For now though the new catalogue is still in active development and only available as a preview.

We have released it for public testing to gather ongoing feedback that will help to inform future releases.

There are no immediate plans to replace the existing catalogue and when we do decide to transition to the new catalogue we will give you plenty of notice.  

3. Is the new catalogue a completed product? 

No. We still working on many more features and are still actively adding new data to the site every day. Check out our roadmap for more information about what features are still to come. 

If there is a particular feature you would love to see, you can let us know by using the “have your say” function on the site.  

4. Why are some records missing? 

We are continually ingesting data into the new system which is a long process given the size of our collections! You can still search our entire collection through our existing catalogue

5. Why are some files, including images, missing? 

We are continually ingesting data into the new system which is a long process given the size of our collections! You can still find all our digital collections through our existing catalogue

Not yet but we're working on it and this feature will be released soon!

7. Does the new catalogue work on all internet browsers and devices? 

The new catalogue is responsive and works across all device sizes including desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. For an optimal experience please view our new catalogue using the Chrome browser.

We are currently aiming to support the most recent versions of all major devices, operating systems and browsers. If you’re having trouble accessing our new catalogue on your device, please let us know through the “have your say” button on the site. 

8. I found something that isn’t working quite right. What do I do? 

As our new catalogue is still in development it is possible that some features won’t be working quite right just yet. If something doesn't load correctly or doesn't seem to be functioning as expected, please refresh the page to see if that fixes the issue.  If it's still not working after refreshing please let us know through the “have your say” button on the site.  

9. I have come across some data that isn't accurate or doesn't match data from the existing catalogue. Why is that?

As part of this project we are working towards simplifying our data, using more reader-focused language and reducing the use of technical terminology. We're still working on getting the model right so some data might have inaccuracies at this stage. You can learn more about the data model we're working on or search for what you're looking for in our existing catalogue.

10. Why do images look different on Digital Collections? 

Our vision for the Digital Collections component of our new catalogue is to provide a visually engaging way to browse the millions of digital files we have in our archives. In order to showcase the beautiful paintings, photographs, maps, manuscripts and objects in the collection, we decided to provide a full width, zoomed in view of images to create a more impactful and generous viewing experience than the typical catalogue search result offers. 

We are still tweaking the presentation of images for Digital Collections and we know we haven’t gotten it quite right yet! This is why your feedback is important – so we have a better understanding of what our readers actually prefer and engage more with. 

11. Will I be able to access other digital files like audio? 

Yes! They are on their way. Eventually in our new catalogue you will be able to access all available digital files from our collections. Stay tuned for a future releases

12. What features are still coming? 

Lots! Including more records, more digital files such as images and audio, more search options, downloads, improved copyright, permalinks and much more. Check out our roadmap to see what we’re currently working on.  

13. What happens to my feedback? 

We are capturing all the feedback you send through and will review each comment, question or concern. We will be responding to some feedback through our blog as needed and we may also get in touch with you directly if we need more information about your individual comments or questions.