Monday, 9 March 2009

Auckland City Libraries / Alexander Turnbull NZ Chinese Journals Database:

NZ Chinese Journals Database
Auckland City Libraries has launched the NZ Chinese Journals Database. The project is a collaboration between libraries (Auckland City Libraries and the Alexander Turnbull Library) the Chinese Association - Auckland Branch, the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust and the Dominion Federation of Chinese Commercial Growers). It uses Greenstone software as the platform.

In line with best digital practice, the project goal is to give greater access to important historical material and make the history of NZ Chinese more visible. The database consists of three Chinese publications - the Man Sing Times (1921-22), NZ Chinese Weekly News (1937-46) and NZ Chinese Growers (1949-72).

The Background
[Quotation from the site]
" Chinese New Zealand’s early print culture is small and scattered. This is no surprise given the size of the Chinese New Zealand community which until the 1920s was not large enough to support a print culture.

A small, transient and largely rural community, labour-intensive occupations and the need to support families back in China were all obstacles to the time-consuming and expensive process of publishing.

Despite these difficulties, between 1921 and 1972 at least four Chinese language periodicals were published in New Zealand. Three of these are available on this site.

The Man Sing Times was published between 1921 and 1922, the New Zealand Chinese Weekly News between 1937 and 1946, and the New Zealand Chinese Growers between 1949 and 1972. Collectively these periodicals cover some 50 years of Chinese New Zealand history.

They provide an insight into the political, economic, linguistic, historical and social life of the Chinese New Zealand community.

Making these key Chinese New Zealand publications available online therefore provides a wonderful primary resource for those studying Chinese New Zealand history and it is hoped that it will encourage the study of and further research into Chinese New Zealand history.

The project is a joint venture between the Alexander Turnbull Library and Auckland City Libraries. The Alexander Turnbull Library supplied microfilmed copies of the publications for digitisation. Project management and web enablement was provided by Auckland City Libraries.

A grant from the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust contributed to the costs of the project.
NDF Presentation
For those that want to know more about the project here's a link to view the presentation that Keziah Singleton (project manager) and David Adams gave at the NDF conference 2008 - N.B. its over 18MB. For convenience, I have also made a Slideshare version. Hope this is okay with the authors - seems daft not too. If this aint right, then tell me.

And, of course, congratulations all round. It is a really great example of bringing primary heritage material online - and exactly the kind of collaboration we need to show how digital access adds its own unique perspective to the research process.

[Note: there are other presentations from the 2008 NDF Conference on the NDF site, here


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