Upgrading National Library of Australia’s Drupal CMS and UX

National Library of Australia building

The National Library of Australia ensures documentary resources of national significance are collected, preserved and made accessible through collaborative arrangements with other libraries and information providers. Their collection is impressive, encompassing:

> 279 shelf kilometres housing the collections
> Approximately 10.25 million collection items
> 2.4 petabytes of digital material (a petabyte is 1 million gigabytes)

Over the 2019-20 period the library had:

> 33.73 million visits to the main website
> 28.3 million visits to Trove
> 6.49 billion Australian and online resources available
> 25.63 million newspaper pages freely available online
> 361.06 million lines of text corrected

Ensuring the Library's website remains stable and easy to use is paramount. With Drupal 7 CMS nearing its end of life, Icon Agency was engaged to upgrade to Drupal 9 and overhaul the website’s user experience.

The initial brief was to deliver a direct duplication of the website into the new version of Drupal. After discussions with the Library it was decided a design refresh was also needed to improve usability and align the site more closely with their brand guidelines – a project our brand team had undertaken in 2019.

Design updates were applied to level one and two landing pages and included global font and colour updates to align with the new brand. We also cleaned up the homepage with a more intuitive content structure and feature layering.

Given the importance of search engine optimisation, a full SEO audit was undertaken and the content team were trained on best-practice writing for the web techniques. We also developed a digital sustainment plan for their team to self manage the site moving forward.

Visit the new website to see the upgrade in action.

National Library of Australia brand book
National Library of Australia website homepage
National Library of Australia website internal page