We aim to create and preserve digital material on a scale never before seen in Australia. Around 20 million collection images or pages will be digitised progressively over the next decade, substantially increasing global access to the Library’s collections, and providing important benefits to regional areas and the creative industries in particular.
over 1,400 World War I diaries
150,000 key historical and literary documents
over 500,000 images from major photographic collections
over six million pages of NSW newspapers
International and Australian maps;
40,000 subdivision plans
books, posters and ephemera
40,000 items from the David Scott Mitchell collection
medals and coins and Dixson numismatic collections
100,000 portraits, landscapes and natural history
over 10,000 hours of sound recordings.
By any measure this is a substantial and very ambitious undertaking but the benefits to the community are immense.
Our collection experts have identified the most in-demand, fragile and valuable collections to be digitised. Fragile items including photographic and glass plate negatives and magnetic tape for sound recordings will be prioritised to ensure the information and contents they hold are preserved.
As part of the funding, the Library will also revitalise its storage and asset management systems to ensure digitised material is preserved permanently. This will mean the Library can build on its born-digital collections.
A collection of items relating to the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt (1813-1848) have recently been digitised including; letters, notebooks, diaries, receipts, accounts, a bible and a telescope thought to have belonged to Leichhardt.
Highlights in this collection include the Ludwig Leichhardt papers, 1837-1844, vol. 1 with pages of illustrations recording the botany, geology and the lie of the land through which he travelled.
From Allawah to Zetland, the State Library is fast-tracking the digitisation of its entire collection of subdivision plans and will be progressively make them available online over the next two years. The subdivision plans for over 250 suburbs and towns in NSW are being digitised alphabetically. View the subdivision plans here.
The State Library has completed the large-scale pilot digitisation of 1.3 million pages or approximately 4,500 books from the extensive David Scott Mitchell collection.
To ensure its preservation, a selection of volumes from this vast collection was digitised within the Library's premises. Although digitised onsite, this work is being carried out by contracted experts using specialised digitisation equipment.
Once the collection has been added to the catalogue, readers from all over the world will be able to see the pages and search the contents of these books. For the first time, this rich Australian collection will be available online and accessible to all.