The Front Page and other ways to see information..

Trove isn’t just a search engine. People are also using the Trove API to create useful tools and resources which sort through Trove’s huge database to provide us with new visualisations and representations of the information and imagery collected within Trove.

The Front Page lets you explore changes in the design and function of newspapers – the big stories haven’t always been on the front page. Read below how digital historian, Tim Sherratt, has created The Front Page using Trove’s API.

The Front Page is a database containing details of more than 4 million front page newspaper articles harvested from the National Library of Australia’s Trove service.

Trove divides articles into a series of categories:

  • articles (news)
  • advertising
  • detailed lists, results, guides
  • family notices
  • literature

I’ve simply gone through and added up the numbers of articles and the numbers of words in each category for each issue, and aggregated this across months, years and the full run of each newspaper.

Sherratt, T 2012, 4 million articles later., Discontents, accessed 27 August 2014, <>

In addition to The Front Page, Tim Sherrat has also developed other tools which allow users to engage with the Trove newspaper database in different ways:

QueryPic provides a new way of seeing, searching and understanding the digitised newspapers from Australia and New Zealand made available by Trove and Papers Past.

Headline Roulette presents you with random excerpt from a newspaper article from Trove and gives you 10 guesses to identify in which year it was published.

The future of the past is an experimental discovery interface highlighting the evocative power of words. This is a fantastic way of discovering articles through key words via a pathway you may never have imagined.