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Preserving 145 years of news

Media Release 3 November 08

National Preservation Office - Preserving 145 years of news

Salme Kortet, Preservation Technician at the National Preservation Office.


Salme Kortet, the recently appointed Preservation Technician at the National Preservation Office, is quickly getting familiar with 145 years' worth of newspapers. As part of a consultancy project between the National Library of New Zealand and the Auckland City Libraries, Salme will be assisting Copying & Digital Services staff to assess the master microfilm negative copies of the New Zealand Herald and Auckland Star newspapers held at Auckland City Libraries.

The newspapers date from 1863 to the present and the collection is a significant part of New Zealand's documentary heritage. "It's an amazing collection to examine, in particular the news coverage from WW1 has significant social and historical importance" Salme Kortet

The first stage of the project, carried out by Auckland City Libraries, determined the condition of the master microfilms and their expected longevity. A second stage of assessment is underway of a sample of 100 microfilms, which will determine how well the newspapers were microfilmed and whether the microfilms are suitable for digitisation.

The National Preservation Office (NPO) helps New Zealanders look after their precious items and assists members of the public, community groups, libraries, museums and archives caring for documentary heritage collections. The microfilm project for Auckland City Libraries is an example of the type of preservation consultancy projects that the National Preservation Office undertakes. The NPO also offers advice on preservation issues. Some of the enquiries answered on a day-to-day basis might include:

- How do I look after my family bible?

- How should I store important documents?

- What sort of photo album should I use for my precious photographs?

- Help! Bugs are eating my books! What should I do?

The NPO works closely with Library Preservation Services staff to offer this specialist advice, and provide preservation workshops, training and consultancy services. Mark Strange, the Library's Senior Photograph Conservator, will hold an upcoming workshop called 'Care of Photographs' in early 2009 at the request of LIANZA Preservation and Conservation Special Interest Group.

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