National Library of New Zealand and Sun Microsystems are collaborating to create the next-generation digital libraries. The organizations will develop the technical architecture to support the library’s National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA) Program, a national initiative to access, manage and preserve New Zealand’s digital heritage.
New Zealand will be the first country in the Southern Hemisphere to implement a solution for the preservation of national digital heritage that reflects the need for persistence of that heritage ‘in perpetuity’.
The two companies will develop an advanced information lifecycle management system, which will serve as an international model for the implementation of digital repositories and preservation management. This system will ensure the long-term storage and preservation of New Zealand’s digital material and provide authenticity and integrity of data with almost 100 percent availability.
“The key objective is 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 said Penny Carnaby, National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of New Zealand.
The care of digital materials will ensure the protection of New Zealand’s national cultural heritage for future generations. The New Zealand government’s Digital Strategy aims to
strengthen national identity and uphold the Treaty of Waitangi through reflecting the digital identities of New Zealanders and making that visible on the international stage. The strategy also desires to promote the development of a creative economy, to provide a framework that will encourage and assist New Zealanders to improve their technical and information literacy skills, and to create fairer educational opportunities.
The National Library will be creating an environment and standards for managing and operating digital repositories that will be applicable to the whole digital preservation community. The proposed solutions will be international in scope, able to be replicated in other organizations that wish to preserve and mine information, and provide scalability over time.
The National Library of New Zealand has online archives of photography, art, newspapers, music and visual and audio historical documents. Without digital preservation, many of the critical materials for research, education and cultural benefit are at risk from data format changes, media migration, bit loss, application/operating environment shifts and unavailable access.