Libraries have vast collections of books, newspapers, music, photographs, maps and more, and have always made their collections available for anyone to access. Libraryhack is about making library collections even more accessible by releasing library data in easily mashable formats for re-use by anyone. We want our communities of users to be free to use our data and other freely accessible data in new and innovative ways.

Where do you get data for Libraryhack?

Each of the libraries particpating in Libraryhack are making datasets available for use in the competition. The datasets are available on the Australian government data repository , the New Zealand government data repository and through DigitalNZ, where you can also find a vast range of other datasets to use in mashups and apps.

We’ve also made a number of high resolution photos from our collections available to download on the Libraryhack website to make it easy for entrants to work on photo mashups. You can find photos from the state libraries of South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and the National Libraries of Australia and New Zealand. Queensland and Tasmania coming soon!

The datasets are listed below to inspire entries in the Libraryhack competition. As data is made available you will see a link to the dataset in the list.

State Library of Victoria

  • Port Phillip Papers – this dataset includes the key records of early European settlement in Victoria.  There are 124 original manuscripts from early European settlement of Victoria featuring historic figures such as John Batman, William Buckley and also records from the Melbourne Advertiser.
  • John T Collins Collection– this dataset contains records referencing online images made available by the State Library of Victoria’s Digital Object Management System. John T Collins was an honorary photographer for the Victorian division of the National Trust of Australia for many years. His collection of almost 20,000 black-and-white negatives range in date from 1950 to 1988 and provide a unique visual record of Victoria’s architectural heritage. The photographs provide varied views of each building or collection of buildings on a site. The many images of homesteads and their associated out-buildings, such as shearing sheds, barns, stables, piggeries, butcheries and dairies, provide an excellent record of the agricultural and pastoral industries of 19th-century Victoria.
  • Australiana Index – The State Library of Victoria online index to biographical and Victorian local history information.  Dataset contains over 70,000 records including local histories, bibliographies, and book reviews. Letters, biographies, newspapers, journals and books are also included.
  • Shipping image collection – contains records which reference online images provided by the State Library of Victoria’s Digital Object Management System. One of the State Library of Victoria’s image collections is the Malcolm Brodie Collection which consists of around 6000 shipping images, including famous wool ships and many migrant ships.
  • Rural Water Corporation Image Collection – contains records which reference online images provided by the State Library of Victoria’s Digital Object Management System. The summer of 2011 has seen the worst flooding in Victoria’s history and water is a hot topic. This collection of over 4000 images from the Rural Water Corporation provides a photographic history of rural water trusts and irrigation schemes since 1905.
  • Collection Item usage – This dataset contains a list of over 65,000 collections items from the State Library of Victoria.  These items are sorted by number of requests per item, including title and call number.   Some of the most requested items include various newspapers, the Inside Football annual, Great Church Towers of England, and Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.  Only items with six or more requests are included in this dataset.
  • Argus Newspaper Collection of photographs. This Second World War dataset references images available online covering the war in Europe, Australian troops in the Pacific and activities on the Home Front,  as provided by the State Library of Victoria’s Digital Object Management System. When the Argus, a major daily paper in Melbourne, ceased publication in 1957 its very large collection of original war photographs were donated to the Library. The collection includes many agency photographs of war in Europe as well as images detailing the activities of Australian troops in the Pacific and activities on the Home Front.
  • This Victorian Patents Office Copyright Collection –  contains records referencing online images provided by the State Library of Victoria’s Digital Object Management System.This collection was accumulated by the Victorian Patents Office from 1870 to 1906.  People applying for copyright protection were required to submit an original copy of the image.  All aspects of public life are covered, from pretty scenic views to examples of public sensibility and topical social issues.  The collection also contains a large number of portraits of public figures.
  • Library Catalogue search terms – this dataset contains over 57,000 unique search terms which have been entered into the State Library of Victoria’s online catalogue during 2010.  Many search terms have similar meanings, an example of a popular search term “John Batman” has been highlighted to demonstrate the various ways in which a search term may be used by library patrons.
  • Search Engine terms – contains a selection of terms used in search engines such as Google to locate the State Library of Victoria online services during the 2010 calendar year.  The dataset is an export from the State Library of Victoria’s Google Analytics report.
  • 266 public library branches in Victoria.  The dataset includes the public library branch name, address and phone number details.  This does not include library service details.

State Library of South Australia

State Library of Queensland

LINC Tasmania

  • Over 12 000 Tasmanian items from  LINC Tasmania’s digitised archive and heritage collection. The datasets include photographs and drawings of people, places, and buildings, together with theatre posters, postcards, architectural plans, and apple and pear fruit box labels.
    LINC Tasmania brings together the services of the State Library of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office to provide statewide library services, research and information, adult literacy support, community learning, online access, archive and heritage services.

State Library of Western Australia

ACT Library Service

  • About 900 images from 1951-1953 featuring Canberra infrastructure (mostly housing) and community events.
  • ACT Memorial data (approx 3 190 records) with details of men and women with an association with the ACT who served in conflicts, peacekeeping missions etc. around the world.

State Library of New South Wales

First Fleet

  • Around 3 000 images from the State Library of NSW’s First Fleet collection of diaries, correspondence and drawings, ca 1786-1802. Comprising nine of the eleven known First Fleet journals, including two versions of Philip Gidley King’s journal, correspondence and artworks of First Fleeters. Some of the manuscript material includes transcripts.
  • Maps of early Sydney and the Pacific produced by members of the First Fleet.



New South Wales Newspapers

Rare printed books

War memorials in New South Wales

National Library of Australia

  • People Australia – a dataset of information about significant Australian people and organisations.
  • Journal of the H.M.S. Endeavour, 1768-1771 This dataset contains transcripts of James Cook’s journal with corresponding links to the digitised pages. Where possible, location information has been extracted. For further information please see the “Read me” file within the dataset. Data has been sourced from South Seas and the Manuscripts collection of the National Library of Australia.
  • The National Library of Australia Sheet Music collection includes printed music created by Australians, published in, performed in, or otherwise associated with, Australia. This dataset contains just over 11,000 items. Highlights of the scores include the original scores of Waltzing Matilda and our official national anthem Advance Australia Fair.
  • Picture Australia metadata – metadata about images in library collections across Australia
  • Trove People and Organisations dataset.  The National Library of Australia operates the Trove People and Organisations zone which allows users to access information about significant people and organisations (parties) as well as related biographical and contextual information. The Trove People and Organisations dataset is based on the Australian Name Authority File, a unique resource maintained since 1981 by Australian libraries which contribute their holdings to Libraries Australia. The API to this dataset provides access to 885,000 identities.

National Library of New Zealand/Digital New Zealand

  • 180 000 New Zealand image objects via DigitalNZ.
  • DigitalNZ collections metadata from across 120 NZ content sources.
  • Publications NZ The Publications New Zealand Metadata Dataset contains bibliographic records of books, periodicals, films, music and other material published in New Zealand, or with a significant New Zealand content. The current dataset was extracted on 22 February 2011, and contains approximately 350,000 records. Records are provided in 2 formats: MARC and MARCXML.