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UC wins international digital humanities award

UC wins international digital humanities award

February 20, 2013

The University of Canterbury’s digital archive CEISMIC has won the inaugural international Digital Humanities Award for the best project for public audiences.

The accolades are a new set of annual awards given in recognition of talent and expertise in the digital humanities community and are nominated and voted for by the public.

UC CEISMIC is the Canterbury earthquakes digital archive. It has won ahead of projects by the University of Buckingham, Trinity College Dublin, University of Munich and University College London.

Winners in other categories include projects from George Mason University (US) and the University of Texas at Austin Advanced Computing Center.

The awards are overseen by an international committee comprised of representatives from the University of Oxford, University of Melbourne, George Mason University, EHESS: École des Haute Études en Sciences Sociales (Lyon), and the International Institute for Digital Humanities (Tokyo).

Associate director of UC CEISMIC and digital humanities senior lecturer Dr James Smithies said winning the award was a huge honour for UC.

``It is a flattering indication of the impact UC CEISMIC has had not only in Christchurch and New Zealand, but internationally. Our team have created a model digital humanities project, and shown that UC is leading the country in this exciting new discipline.

``More importantly, the award shows the importance of cultural heritage preservation to the rebuild process. It's vitally important we safeguard Canterbury's digital heritage and continue to work with the community to build a resource for present and future generations. We're looking forward to being around to help Christchurch and New Zealand for many years to come.

``We expect to have 100,000 quake-related items available on CEISMIC by the end of this year,’’ Dr Smithies said.

The archive consortium also includes Archives New Zealand, Christchurch City Libraries, the Canterbury Museum, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the National Library, New Zealand Film Archive, NZ on Screen, the Ngai Tahu Research Centre and Te Papa. DigitalNZ, a unit of the National Library, provides additional services.

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