Precious images free online - but not for long

The National Library is offering unprecedented online access to a selection of digitised historical pictures - but only for the next two months. The free access is being offered to celebrate the launch of the library's Timeframes service, which is based on the HyperWave Web server system developed at the University of Auckland's Hypermedia Unit

The National Library is offering unprecedented online access to a selection of digitised historical pictures - but only for the next two months.

The free access is being offered to celebrate the launch of the library's Timeframes service, which is based on the HyperWave Web server system developed at the University of Auckland's Hypermedia Unit

The library describes the Timeframes database as "a pictorial snapshot of our cultural history". It contains a selection of the heritage images held in the pictorial collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library. The images - photographs, drawings, posters, paintings and cartoons - reflect life in New Zealand in the 1800s, early 1900s and beyond, and they cover a wide range of topics. There are 1000 images to choose from now, but that figure is expected to rise to 25,000 by 1999.

Internet users will be able to search or browse the Timeframes database for images and information. They will also be able to order high quality printed copies for themselves using Timeframes' online Shopping Basket feature.

Image Services Manager at the Library, Margaret Davidson, says the developers have made innovative use of HyperWave for Timeframes' search functionality, which enables end users to make broad searches across all fields or narrow searches in a specific field or fields.

The Timeframes database is accessible at:

http://timeframes.natlib.govt.nz/ (user name - timeframes, password - images).

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