Learning Sequences

For History teachers and students

Developed by HTAA (The History Teachers' Association of Australia)

Unit 2 - Investigating the 1852 Gundagai Flood

2. Research Using Trove

About Trove

Trove began as a giant search engine for resources relating to Australia, bringing together content from libraries, museums, archives and other research and collecting organisations across Australia. It has grown beyond its original purpose and now offers not only metadata but also a growing collection of full text digital resources and services to help people use and contribute to the site.

Trove provides online access to digital reproductions of newspapers, journals, books, maps, personal papers and images, as well as archived websites and other born-digital content. It is a ‘one-stop shop’ for those interested in Australian history.

Teachers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with Trove before introducing students to this learning sequence on researching the 1852 Gundagai Flood.

Suggestions for introducing students to Trove

  1. Briefly explain what Trove is, then take students to this page showing the 10 ‘zones’ for the different types of resources it holds.
  2. Trove website

    © National Library of Australia trove.nla.gov.au

  3. Take students to the Using Trove section of the Trove help centre page and view the short film ‘Discovering Jessie Webb’ (2 minutes). Alert students to the captions and the sources in the circles superimposed on each scene.
  4. Trove Help centre

    © National Library of Australia help.nla.gov.au/trove/using-trove

  5. Ask students to identify some of the different types of sources shown in Jessie’s story. Remind them that histories are based on sources and that finding and analysing sources is an important part of a historian’s work.

Digitised newspapers

Trove provides access to more than 20 million pages from more than 1000 Australian newspapers from the earliest published newspaper in 1803 to the 1950s. This zone is heavily used and attracts thousands of visitors each day.

Newspapers are digitised using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process which works well on clean pages with clear print, but has some difficulty recognising print on old pages that are faded or creased. So, when you access an old newspaper on Trove, you will see a copy of the original on the right and an OCR copy of the text on the left. This may contain errors which users can correct, if they want to, using Trove guidelines.

Take students to the article from the Darling Downs Gazette, 14 April 1913 ‘Gundagai Flood A Reminiscence’ to demonstrate how difficult it can be to read the original text—and how convenient it is to refer to the transcribed version on the left of the screen. This also introduces students to a very useful source for their research on the 1852 Gundagai Flood.

Students practise

  • Return to the Trove Zones page.
  • Either provide students with the name of a prominent local person, place or event—or allow them to choose one for themselves.
  • Have them enter the name or place, tick ‘Available online’ then hit Search.
  • Students access one resource from at least five of the zones so they can see the variety of material available on their topic.

Students should now be aware of the range of resources available on Trove and how to access them.

Introduce the 1852 Gundagai Flood

Introduce students to their research topic, the 1852 Gundagai Flood and their research task (See ‘Investigating the 1852 Gundagai Flood — 1. Learning Sequence’ and to the resources TR 1, TR2 and TR 3).

Have students start searching for sources, noting the details of each source and the information each one provides about the flood. Advise students that they will report to the class on what they have discovered at the beginning of the next lesson.