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National Library documenting quake and recovery

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister Responsible for the National Library

10 June 2011
Media Statement

National Library documenting quake and recovery

The trauma and recovery of quake-hit Christchurch is now being recorded for future generations, says Nathan Guy, the Minister Responsible for the National Library.

“The National Library is collecting a record of the quakes and their aftermath through a variety of mediums, including photos, oral history, web harvesting, and collecting material from memorial services and fundraising concerts,” says Mr Guy.

“Projects that had initially been set up to collect verbal records, photos and documents around the Canterbury earthquake of 4 September 2010 have been enlarged and extended to cover the 22 February quake and the ongoing rebuild of the city.

“The projects are recording the changing face of the city and people’s reactions as they move from tragedy to recovery. The records will be made accessible online and held in perpetuity for the people of New Zealand.

“The National Library has a strong focus on increasing online access to its priceless collections, which ties in with the Government’s $1.5 billion investment in ultra-fast broadband.”
These projects are being run in cooperation with efforts to document the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes by a number of other agencies, including the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Christchurch City Libraries and the University of Canterbury.

Early photos from the Photo Documentary Project can be seen here.

The National Library is one of a number of organisations working with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) on rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents. For more information visit


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