Digital Excellence Program

Funded by the NSW Government, the Digital Excellence Program delivered unprecedented, world-wide access to the State's most iconic and historically significant documents and objects.
Digital Excellence Digitising

In 2012 the Library received NSW Treasury funding to renew its aging digital technology platform, update critical business systems and to begin an ambitious 10-year program to digitise, preserve and make accessible iconic and at-risk heritage collections. The funding opportunity has transformed the Library from one of Australia’s most respected and valued libraries to a library internationally renowned for digital excellence. 

The Digital Excellence Program (DEP) was built on two business cases: Heritage Discovery and Asset Management, focusing on renewal of technology platform, applications and website, and Digitisation for Regional Delivery focusing on digitisation of heritage collection and preservation of digital content.  

Digitising the Library’s collections 

The Library's digitisation strategy has helped cement the Library's status as a world-leading library and centre for digital excellence. Digital content from a wide range of collection materials has been created and preserved on a scale never seen before in Australia. 

The program was formally closed at the end of June 2022, with over 13.1 million digital master files created from over 15 different physical collection formats, well exceeding the 12 million target in the original business case. 

Greater access for everyone 

This project has improved the discoverability on the Library's website and across the Internet, making it even easier for schools, universities, family historians, researchers and many others to find and use the Library's unique materials. 

In 2015, the Library launched a new website and an integrated collection management system. The Library also implemented a world-leading digital preservation repository and built custom workflows to facilitate digital asset management.  

In 2021, the Library launched a new catalogue and digital collections website.

Upgrades to Library equipment available for public use have included new microform reader scanners installed in the State Reference Library and Mitchell Library Reading Room, and upgrades to all print services and multi-function devices in the State Reference Library. In addition to these, many projects have been undertaken to renew the Library’s digital infrastructure behind the scenes. These upgrades will assist the Library in its day-to-day operations and establish a strong foundation on which to support the Library's vision for digital excellence. 

Key outcomes of the Digital Excellence Program

Implementation of the Library Catalogue Systems (ALMA, Adlib) 

Implementation of Digital Asset Management and Preservation System (Fotoware, Rosetta). 

Infrastructure upgrades to store and manage the new digital content. 

Development and implementation of Digitisation Workflow and Ingestion Systems (PanDA and BamBoo).

Creation and archival storage of approximately 13 million preservation quality digital master files, from a wide range of formats. 

Catalogue enhancements and Digital Collections access through the Collection Experience Program. 

Operation of a digital innovation lab (DXLab).

Creation of a panel of accredited suppliers of digitisation services.