Archives NZ to develop digital archive in-house

Body decides to build on existing work and infrastructure

Archives NZ will be developing a large-scale digital archive for public sector records with $12.6m allocated in last month's Budget.

“The new archive means we can take in large-scale transfers of government agency digital records, such as email messages, videos, databases and electronic documents,” says Archives acting chief executive Greg Goulding. “We will then actively preserve and maintain these records so they remain accessible to agencies and the public into the future.”

After exploring alternatives internationally, Archives decided to develop the new system using its existing infrastructure and building on work already done in developing the National Library’s National Digital Heritage Archive, Goulding says.

Archives New Zealand’s online search engine Archway will be extended to manage the necessary metadata and the department will develop new tools around transfer and security in consultation with agencies.

The archive is expected to take about two years to develop.

Meanwhile, the National Library's second "web harvest" of New Zealand websites finished recently.

The exercise, carried out from May 12 to May 25, aimed to collect a snapshot of all public data from as many URLs as possible in .nz domain, along with .com, .net and .org sites on servers located in New Zealand.

The Library sees web harvesting as a logical extension of its role of collecting physical textual and pictorial material that reflects the country's social history.

The first web harvest was conducted in 2008.

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