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Online encyclopedia of NZ announced

Online encyclopedia of NZ announced

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark and associate minister Judith Tizard announced today that work will begin next year on an online encyclopedia of New Zealand.

"The online encyclopedia aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the natural environment, history, culture, economics, institutions and social development of New Zealand," Helen Clark said.

”It will give access to images, sounds, film clips, maps and original documents.

"This will be one of the most significant cultural investments that we as a nation have made to building and enhancing the nation's identity."

"The encyclopaedia will be an essential base document for a huge number of people from school students working on school projects to academics doing advanced research," Judith Tizard said.

"It will also be an important resource for all those who are writing the stories of New Zealand, both fiction and non-fiction. From this single initiative, I expect countless others to grow.

"Material will be progressively posted on a free website from mid-2003 before publication in printed alphabetical form in ten years’ time."

Helen Clark and Judith Tizard said that the cost of the encyclopedia project will be around $1.1 million over nine years. It will be produced by the History Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

"The History Group has been responsible for prize-winning reference works, including the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography and the New Zealand Historical Atlas. The group also produced the recent oral history of the Battle of Crete, A Unique Sort of Battle.

"The previous official Encyclopedia of New Zealand was published in 1966. It sold over 30,000 copies within a year and has been out of print ever since," Helen Clark said.


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