Bits and Bytes
Message from the Chief Archivist
June ='No Nukes' Month
Archives New Zealand takes its tools to Ghana
New Home for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Timing and collaboration bring success
The Queen, Archives and YouTube
Archives and the Pacific
Probate records digitisation continuing apace
Historical LINZ Land Records Available Online
Supporting clients’ capability
An exhibition at the Reserve Bank Museum in Wellington to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II features items from the National Archive.
The Jubilee, held during mid-2012, is a significant event for Britain and the Commonwealth, marking only the second time in history that a British monarch has reigned for 60 years. The display includes banknotes and coins from the Reserve Bank’s circulating currency collection as well as commemorative coins issued to mark various royal tours and events.
On display from Archives New Zealand are Coronation ribbons, and an Itinerary and Arrangement Book. A film featuring events from Queen Elizabeth’s first visit to New Zealand in 1953-54, also courtesy of Archives New Zealand, is showing in the theatrette section of the museum. The exhibition runs until 31 January.
The first issue of the UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand Programme stakeholder newsletter is now available on its website. Here you can learn more about the Memory of the World New Zealand Programme and how to inscribe your documentary heritage on the New Zealand Memory of the World Register.
Find out more about UNESCO’s Memory of the World Hear about the UNESCO Memory of the World and learn if your heritage documents can be part of this unique programme. The sessions will introduce and familiarise heritage organisations with the UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand programme. You will be shown how to prepare submissions for the New Zealand register.
The sessions are being held in Wellington: Friday 29 June 2012 10.00 am to 12.00 pm, in the Poutama Room, Archives New Zealand, 10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington, and in Dunedin: Wednesday 4 July 2012, 3-5pm, in the Seminar Room, Hocken Library, 90 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin.
Further information about the Memory of the World programme and register is on its website
to register for the Wellington or Dunedin training session please email: email@example.com with your name, organisation, contact phone number and the session which you want to attend. Registration for the Wellington session closes on 26 June and Dunedin on 2 July.
In 2009 a huge project to digitise the New Zealand passenger lists held at Archives New Zealand began and as a result some 296,000 pages have been digitised. Done as a joint partnership between Archives New Zealand and Family Search of Utah the job of indexing these lists continues.
The more people who volunteer, the faster the indexing will be completed making the entries available through a name search. Anyone can assist with indexing these records. Log onto www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing and take the tutorial.
Choose the New Zealand project by scrolling down this page and clicking on “more” under the “Current Indexing Projects” heading. You will see how many projects are now underway through Family Search; this project is in competition with those dozens of other ones around the world, so your help will get this project done sooner.
If you have any questions about indexing, please contact Lyn Whelan at: Lyn.Whelan@gmail.com.
There are now 70,000 new, fully searchable pages from 10 different historic New Zealand newspapers available on the National Library’s Papers Past website.
These are a result of a collaborative project that invited libraries and other organisations to apply to have their local newspapers digitised. The National Library shared the cost.
The Papers Past collection covers the years 1839 to 1945, and includes more than two million fully searchable pages of historical New Zealand newspapers and periodicals.
A similar collaborative project has just begun for the 2012/13 period. For more information, check out the National Library’s website.
Dagmar Schmidmaier, coordinator of the Australian Chief Executive Women's Leaders Programme and a member of the Council of Chief Executive Women will be speaking at the Rutherford House Lobby Lecture Theatre 2 at Victoria University, Wellington, on Thursday 5 July at 5.30pm. A former CEO and State Librarian of the NSW State Library she is also chair of the Aurora Foundation Ltd, a not for profit organisation involved in leadership development in library and information science.
Welcome to this latest issue of Ngā Tapuwae, Archives New Zealand's quarterly newsletter, where you will find more information about the decision to move the contents of the Constitution Suite, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi, to the newly refurbished National Library Building in Molesworth Street, Wellington.
This is a significant move as it will bring historically important government documents into a new home alongside other records and information that detail the life and times of New Zealand and New Zealanders.
Joining resources with the National Library of New Zealand will create in the one place a focal point for the documented history and knowledge of the nation. It will be a place for thought and interaction and a place where the knowledge of the past can be utilised to inform the knowledge of the future.
In this issue you can find out more about our drive to get more records and information on line via our joint digitisation programme with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and the FamilySearch volunteers. You can read about Queen Elizabeth II and the archives and keep-up with what's happening in the recordkeeping arena.
All the best
Chief Archivist Greg Goulding
Nuclear explosion at Mururoa Atoll
New Zealanders have opposed nuclear testing, particularly in the Pacific, since the 1960s. However, through alliance with Australia and the United States, New Zealand had accepted the 'protection' of the nuclear umbrella since the end of World War II. Opposition to nuclear weaponry came to focus with opposition to French nuclear tests at Mururoa and to any visit to New Zealand by nuclear powered or armed warships.
8 June, 1987: The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act was passed into law, establishing this country as a nuclear and biological weapon-free zone (section 4 below).
New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone
There is hereby established the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, which shall comprise:
(a) all of the land, territory, and inland waters within the territorial limits of New Zealand; and
(b) the internal waters of New Zealand; and
(c) the territorial sea of New Zealand; and
(d) the airspace above the areas specified in paragraphs (a) to (c).
New Zealand at the International Court of Justice
23 June, 1973: The New Zealand and Australian governments took France to the International Court of Justice in 1973 in an attempt to stop nuclear testing in the Pacific. The Court ruled in New Zealand and Australia’s favour, but the French ignored the ruling. Growing international pressure later forced them to switch from atmospheric to underground testing.
Simulated radiation checks on board HMNZS Otago
28 June, 1973: When the French Government ignored the ruling of the International Court, Prime Minister Norman Kirk sent the frigates Canterbury and Otago into international waters around the test area of Mururoa Atoll as a "silent witness with the power to bring alive the conscience of the world". Cabinet Minister Fraser Coleman was on board and witnessed two nuclear tests.
Have toolkit, will travel was the approach when Anna Gulbransen was asked to facilitate recordkeeping training to the Regional West Africa Archives Council. The request for training came from the Public Records and Archives Administration Department in Ghana.
The ensuing trip to Accra, Ghana, was funded by the International Council on Archives. Representatives from five West African countries, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and The Gambia attended the training in early May. Anna was joined on the training team by former Secretary General of PARBICA (and former Archives New Zealand staff member) Mark Crookston and Christine Martinez Secretary-General for the International Council on Archives.
Anna Gulbransen attending one of the workshops
The Recordkeeping for Good Governance toolkit was developed by the Pacific Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (PARBICA) following a request from members for a set of plain English practical tools that could be used to help support the creation and effective management of records.
Development of the toolkit started in 2005, working closely with recordkeepers and archivists in the Pacific, both the National Archives of Australia and Archives New Zealand have led this work. The toolkit covers areas such as basic recordkeeping capacity checklists, recordkeeping policies, file plans, appraisal and disposal of records and digital recordkeeping.
Anna, who is Secretary General of PARBICA, says the toolkit is working really well in the Pacific context, providing Archivist’s with some practical tools and frameworks to support their work. The training in Ghana was intended to provide West African archivists with an overview of what the toolkit contained and facilitate some discussion about how the toolkit might work in a West African context.
“We worked through the toolkit guidelines looking at a range of issues including the need for a recordkeeping policy as a means to creating a framework that supports recordkeeping across government,” says Anna.
“We considered the very common challenge of how to decide if a record is of archival value; the toolkit has a guideline called Starting an Appraisal Programme, this is a set of criteria for retention and a disposal.
“We talked about possible political interference; some people might want to destroy information that might be used as evidence against them or someone else. The guideline provides archivists with a consistent process to help ensure their decision making is supported by a robust framework.
“We also spent some time looking at digital archiving. The message is the same – get the basics right: define what is a record, how will it be kept and for how long, and establish a backup system.”
Anna says there was a lot of discussion in Ghana, as there has been among Pacific countries, about how technical concepts and requirements translate into plain English. The terms are not always the same but the intent often is.
One of the key resolutions at the end of the workshop was that each country would use the PARBICA toolkit as a model, adapting it for government-wide use relevant to their own country. This means that the toolkit forms a base, but there is an element of translation required so that people will be operating with common terms and understanding.
The toolkit work started in the Pacific as a regional solution to regional issues and challenges. The work of the toolkit has highlighted that despite regional differences the core issues are the same and the toolkit provides a great base to build on. The toolkit is starting to reach a broader audience with the International Council on Archives working to translate the toolkit into French and Spanish.
“The PARBICA toolkit is a model that can be used by anyone, adopted or adapted to meet their needs,” says Anna.
Along with colleagues from Australia, France, Burkina Faso and Fiji, Anna will deliver a presentation and workshop on the toolkit at the next four-yearly International Council on Archives conference in Brisbane later this year.
This country's founding document Te Tiriti o Waitangi and other constitutional treasures will be housed in a special new home in the refurbished Molesworth Street Library building in a decision announced by Internal Affairs Minister Hon Chris Tremain.
Te Tiriti, along with the contents of the Constitution Suite currently at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office, will be located in a specially prepared space as part of the Library’s refurbishment.
Chief Archivist Greg Goulding and National Librarian Bill Macnaught say this is an exciting time for Archives and the Library as: “we look forward to creating a tremendous new space where both organisations’ treasures can be shared and enjoyed by many more people.”
Archives New Zealand and specifically the Chief Archivist will still be responsible for the care and access to Te Tiriti and the other Constitution Suite documents which include the 1835 Declaration of Independence of the Northern Chiefs and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition.
Coupled with the move there will be a name change for the building to better reflect its new role as a home for Archives New Zealand and the National Library.
”Having key government documents and national treasures housed together in the one building creates a new hub for New Zealand’s documented heritage, knowledge and information,” says Greg Goulding.
”This will be vibrant and engaging space for New Zealanders and overseas visitors and backs our commitment to provide better services to customers.
”Both our institutions statutory roles will remain the same and there is no intention to dilute the roles and brands of Archives New Zealand, the National Library and the Alexander Turnbull Library.
”Before and since integration with the Department of Internal Affairs on 1 February last year both Archives New Zealand and the National Library have been looking at opportunities to enhance the way our services are operated and delivered. This is a defining point and tangible demonstration of the commitment of both organisations to improve services to the public.”
The move is due to take place from mid next year and will be managed in consultation with mana whenua/ Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.
It all began early in 2011 when the Māori Land Court came to the Digital Continuity team at Archives New Zealand with a unique digital preservation issue. The challenge was a box of 61 floppy disks containing records of the Court dating back to the mid 1980s – could Archives retrieve them and restore the records?
Senior Advisor, Digital Continuity, Euan Cochrane said Archives had just bought the KryoFlux device that could make images from floppy disks and they were keen to try it out. KryoFlux is a USB-based floppy controller – if you want to know more check out: www.kryoflux.com
"Luckily, at the beginning of the project I had copied a key piece of documentation needed to understand how to interpret the information on the disks," says Euan.
"By the time the project was finished the website had been taken down – the authors probably thought it was no longer useful. A few months later and this project would not have been possible. It shows the speed with which digital information is lost if nobody does anything about it!"
While Archives could get at one side of the data they could not access the other. The Computer Science Department of Freiburg University, Germany, threw the challenge to a student to write an interpreter and file extractor for the image files. By the end of the year a tool was produced that can read the file system headers and produce directory listings from them.
Freiburg University was so pleased with its achievement in digital archaeology that it made a digital presentation on its website. This has attracted the attention of international telco AT&T who got in touch with Archives.
"They wanted to know how we made the images of the old disks and how the code was created," says Euan. "We knew both sides of the story and along with Freiburg University we had the right technology.
"Without our joint efforts these records could have been lost. This has proved a useful service to the Māori Land Court and a valuable contribution to New Zealand’s documented heritage.
"This project was conducted for research purposes and its success highlights a potential service for Archives New Zealand to do this sort of work for other public sector agencies, or even the general public, in the future."
From the Māori Land Court website:
As at September 2009, there was, approximately, 1.47 million hectares of Māori land (including customary land) which comprises less than five percent of land in New Zealand. While the total area of Māori land is small, the Court and its administration recognises the special bond that Māori people have with this land. Thus the maintenance and preservation of the Court's record (containing as it does invaluable customary information including whakapapa or genealogy) remains a fundamental feature of the work of the Court.
The Māori Land Court has been in existence in one form or another since the passing of the Native Lands Act 1862 and the Māori Appellate Court since 1894.
A letter from the Queen isn't something everyone has, but Archivist Uili Fecteau does – and all thanks to initiative and YouTube.
Uili Fecteau with his letters from the Queen
Uili Fecteau penned a letter to the Queen after uploading three National Film Unit films from her 1953-54 royal tour of New Zealand, and visits to Fiji and Tonga onto the Archives YouTube channel.
"I put the films onto YouTube to share them with New Zealanders and our Pacific cousins and I thought the Queen might appreciate knowing about them too, especially as this year is her Diamond Jubilee," Uili said.
The commemorative document
Uili recieved from the Queen
And the Queen showed her appreciation by sending Uili a personal thank you letter written by a Lady in Waiting along with a commemorative thank you document.
The letter notes: The Queen greatly appreciates your thought for her at this time, and Her Majesty was touched to hear about the project you have been working on, uploading films from the archives in Wellington, of the Queen’s visits to New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
"Getting a letter from the Queen is great and what’s also exciting is the fact we can contribute to her Diamond Jubilee celebrations directly with our archival collection here in Wellington, New Zealand," he said.
Social media success
"Archives New Zealand is focused on making archival material available to more people by using social media. We are currently uploading hundreds of National Film Unit films onto YouTube.
"We have more than 120 items available now and we’re just about to top 100,000 views in total. Letting the Queen know about our films of her visit here is how social networking works."
The films, part of the National Film Unit collection which is on the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Memory of the World register, are under the care of the Chief Archivist at Archives New Zealand.
To see the films go to:
Tui Tupa, one of three staff members at the Cook Island Archives recently spent six weeks at Archives New Zealand to learn about managing records.
Tui Tupa and Anna Gulbransen
Tui's visit was sponsored by New Zealand Aid, and coordinated by Archives New Zealand’s Senior Archivist/Archives Advisor Anna Gulbransen.
Anna said Tui’s training covered everything from appraising documents (what is a record and what should be kept), abstracting (describing the information so others can find and use it) preservation and digitisation.
"I'm quite new to archiving, but quickly developed a real passion and interest for family history and culture," Tui said.
"I worked on a set of not yet appraised records held at Archives New Zealand and making recommendations to the Chief Archivist about what should be done with them. The work was daunting, but I’ve learned a lot."
Anna said the international archiving community is committed to sharing skills. "We teach and share our expertise, and we also learn from Tui about her experiences in Rarotonga."
A project to digitise probate records held by Archives New Zealand is continuing and has now reached 93,443 records.
Alicia Wright, Manager Holdings and Discovery, says the project started in March 2010 with the Wellington records, then moved to Christchurch and has now started in Auckland.
"Probate records contain a wealth of information for family researchers. For example they can provide the name of the tester, their date of death, occupation, names of their heirs and clues to other key relationships they may have had,” she says.
"Until now, though, the problem was access – probate records are held in the various Archives New Zealand offices. So to access them a visit to the office was needed."
The records, which include wills, testaments, letters of administration and probate register books, cover the years from 1845 to 1960 and were created by local courts throughout New Zealand.
Alicia says the records are very valuable for family history researchers because civil authorities began recording probate actions earlier than they recorded birth and death records.
“Archives New Zealand is committed to improving online access to records, and this project enables us to do just that. Our probate records are some of the most highly used in our collection.
“It also means the original documents will not need to be handled so they will be better preserved in their current condition.”
A joint digitisation programme between Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Archives New Zealand sees some 145,000 images of Deeds Indexes now available online.
Marking digitisation of LINZ land records
Archivist Jonathan Newport demonstrates how the records can be searched
with Sue Gordon and Chief Archivist Greg Goulding
The records are available as a result of a project to digitise the material to make it more available to more New Zealanders via online channels. This was subsequent to the transfer of some 12,000 records to Archives New Zealand’s four offices when the closure of LINZ processing centres began in 2009.
Acting LINZ Chief Executive Sue Gordon and Archives New Zealand Chief Archivist Greg Goulding say having the records online is a huge milestone in helping preserve and provide access to an important part of New Zealand’s history.
“LINZ has been recording the rights and entitlements of people, and their relationship to land, since the 1840s,” says Sue Gordon.
“Land records documenting the control and management of land are some of the most important records that any country has and they set the foundation for a nation to grow and prosper.
“I want to thank Archives New Zealand for ensuring these records have a safe new home – these records have so much value for so many people.”
Chief Archivist Greg Goulding says the aim of the collaborative project was to digitise the records that would provide the most benefit to land professionals, historians and the public.
“Our aim has been to increase and improve access to these records,” he said. “We are committed to getting more information online to enable government and citizens to do their job.
“This has been a significant project, extending over more than a year. And a couple of statistics reveal its magnitude – 600 volumes were digitised and this amounts to about 14 terabytes of digital storage.”
What is a Deeds Index?
A Deeds Index is a type of volume that records all of the registered transactions against a section of land. For example, everyone buying, selling, leasing or mortgaging land in Wellington Town Acre 515 under the deeds system is entered on that page.
The Deeds Index also directs the researcher to the register volume where the individual transactions are reproduced in full.
Digitisation experts New Zealand Micrographic Services have assisted with the project. The records can be viewed via Archives New Zealand’s search tool Archway.
Caption: Pictured at a joint celebration to mark the digitisation of LINZ land records are Archivist Jonathan Newport (who demonstrated how the records can be searched), Sue Gordon and Greg Goulding.
Archives New Zealand's Client Capability Team
at the Wellington office
In February 2012, Archives New Zealand established a new directorate, Client Capability.
Client Capability enhances relationships with our clients in government, local government and the community, for whom Archives New Zealand services are primarily about improving capability to carry out recordkeeping.
Director Client Capability, John Roberts has responsibility for providing strategic and operational leadership across all aspects of developing archival and recordkeeping capability across government and in the community.John's directorate is made up of three teams - Disposal and Acquisition, Recordkeeping and Capability and Audit and Monitoring.
John Roberts Director Client Capability,
Wendy Stokes, Manager Audit and Monitoring (left);
Denise Williams, Manager Disposal and Acquisition (right).
Absent: Patrick Power, Manager Recordkeeping Capability
Disposal and Acquisition, Manager Denise Williams, is responsible for encouraging agencies to actively and efficiently dispose of records as a vital part of good recordkeeping practice. They oversee the approval and implementation of disposal authorities and access classification.
Recordkeeping Capability, Manager Patrick Power is focused on supporting and building the capability of the archives and records sector. This includes the promotion of recordkeeping, capacity building through training and the development of standards and guidelines. It is about making it easy for our clients to get the information and support they need, when they need it.
Audit and Monitoring, Manager Wendy Stokes, has responsibilities for the delivery of Public Records Act 2005 audits which measure the recordkeeping capability within an organisation. They also undertake monitoring and investigations into breaches of the PRA.
The aim of the Directorate is to build and improve client capability, and by collaborating with the sector and supporting them in building knowledge and capability we are confident we can deliver a better service to our clients, including better information management both in Government and more widely. We welcome your feedback.