The National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa in Maori and an RLG Partner) has obviously been busy. Last week they joined the Flickr Commons, and they have already reported some impressive use statistics. But today (well, yesterday in Kiwi time) came an even bigger announcement.
Digital New Zealand, “a nation-wide project to help make New Zealand digital content easier to find, share and use was launched at the National Library of New Zealand on 3 December 2008.” The incredible array of collections made available through this one interface would be news enough for many libraries. But the joy doesn’t stop there.
The project welcomes additional content contributors, and stands ready to provide advice and assistance to help them to do so. Visitors are offered an opportunity to create a tailored search of the site and drop the resulting widget onto any web page they like or use the special search page that is created for them right on the Digital New Zealand site.
If a visitor doesn’t wish to create a tailored web widget, they already have a library of such from which to choose. And for the true technorati, there is the developer section, which provides a simple way for software developers to get a key to be able to use the application programming interface (API) of the site. If all of this isn’t enough to knock your socks off, stay tuned.
The “Memory Maker” is a web-based way to mix and match video clips into your own cinematic production. I kid you not. Try it out. You can add audio or music to add your own special touches. I doubt that any movie miracles will be made here, but the level of interactivity is completely off the charts. To get the full measure of this, you simply must see this movie.
So by now you must think surely I am done singing the praises of Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, but I’m not. There’s still more. Like I said, they’ve obviously been busy. The last thing I want to highlight is their National Digital Heritage Archive. Long in the works through a partnership with ExLibris, this preservation system went live on November 4. “The National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA),” states the web site, “is the National Library’s technical and business solution to preserve and provide long-term public access to its digital heritage collections.” The NLNZ was the flagship partner with ExLibris, and the product is based on the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model and conforming to trusted digital repository (TDR) requirements (which came out of joint RLG-OCLC work before the two organizations joined).
This is an incredible array of new initiatives by any measure, and a tribute to the leadership of Penny Carnaby, Chief Executive and National Librarian, and John Truesdale, Director National Digital Library, and of course many others who were instrumental in accomplishing all of this work. For my part, it’s hard to believe that it was only a bit more than a year ago when I was talking with Penny and John in a Melbourne bar after participating in a National and State Libraries Australasia strategic planning meeting. They have much to celebrate, as do we, since they have are doing much from which we can learn. I simply can’t wait to see what comes next.
Roy Tennant works on projects related to improving the technological infrastructure of libraries, museums, and archives.