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National Library To Serve As International Model

10 November 2005

National Library To Serve As International Model

New Zealand's National Library will serve as an international model for preserving electronic heritage material for future generations.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. has named the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Tauranga o Aotearoa as a SunTM Centre of Excellence for Digital Futures in Libraries. The National Library of New Zealand, the first New Zealand organisation and first-ever non-tertiary institution to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence, will serve as an international model for digital repositories and preservation management.

"Sun Microsystems announcing the Library as a Centre of Excellence recognises that we are at the very forefront of global digital preservation endeavours," said Penny Carnaby, National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library.

The National Library, along with other cultural institutions worldwide, is rising to the challenge of collecting, preserving and making digital content accessible, as technology innovations continue to revolutionise the creation and dissemination of information.

"The National Library has been legislated to preserve this nation's digital heritage – such as websites and other material stored on an electronic platform – since 2003, when the National Library Act was passed," said Carnaby. "Then, in 2004, we successfully sought Government funding to build an archive to store this material for future generations to access, which resulted in the establishment of the National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA) programme."

The association is one of a number of partnerships the National Library is forming to realise the NDHA programme, a key initiative of New Zealand's Digital Strategy, launched by Hon David Cuncliffe, Minister of Information Technology in May 2005. The NDHA will contribute to the Digital Strategy by preserving New Zealand's digital memory and is a significant building block in New Zealand's National Content Strategy, as it is expected to contribute an estimated 26 terabytes of content by 2007.

The National Library is facilitating the pan-government, pan-sector National Content Strategy, which will put forward a framework and initiatives to facilitate enhanced access to New Zealand's digital resources.

"We need to make New Zealand's digital heritage available in perpetuity. We do not want to fail the future by leaving a gap in New Zealand's history because we were too slow or unwilling to confront the challenge of digital preservation now."

The association with Sun will give the National Library of New Zealand access to the significant intellectual property that resides within Sun Microsystems, supplementing the Library's capacity and drawing it into Sun's Centre of Excellence community.

"We liken it to joining a hothouse of innovators," said Carnaby.

Speaking at an event to commemorate the Centre of Excellence announcement, Art Pasquinelli, Sun Microsystems Director for Global Libraries and E-Learning said, "we've been involved in this arena for about 12 years, we work with about 6000 libraries and institutions and I'm very excited about this project.

"We work with Stanford University on preservation and the Library of Congress and Humboldt University in the area of trusted digital repositories. This Centre of Excellence will sit alongside those and probably be a leader in that area that we can link to other universities worldwide in our community of Centres of Excellence.

"We're very excited about the vision, the thought behind and scope of the project, which is unmatched in the world."

The National Library and Sun will develop an advanced information lifecycle management system, which will serve as an international model for digital repositories and preservation management. The proposed solution will be international in scope, able to be replicated in other organisations that wish to preserve and mine information, and scalable over time.


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