Ngā Tapuwae - the Footprints - is the newsletter of Archives New Zealand. It tells the stories of our people, our work and achievements.
John Roberts, Acting Chief Archivist
With the holiday season just around the corner we can reflect on a momentous year for Archives New Zealand.
On 1 February this year Archives New Zealand and the National Library of New Zealand integrated with the Department of Internal Affairs. This has given us the opportunity to work more closely with the National Library and other parts of the Knowledge Information Research and Technology Group to see how we can provide wider and improved services to our customers.
Currently both Archives and the National Library are working together on a strategy to see how we can better support customers to access more information more easily. Look for more updates on this in the New Year.
In this issue of Ngā Tapuwae we feature the achievements of the Government Digital Archive and what’s coming up in at next year’s Future Perfect – Digital Continuity Conference. The Government Recordkeeping work to assist public offices keep their recordkeeping up to scratch in times of change is showcased and you can find out what’s happening with the digitisation standard review.
Blue Shield is an international organisation that, coupled with an education programme, sets standards and guidance for managing cultural and heritage records and archives in times of emergency. It could well be set-up in New Zealand. You can find out more about this proposal and also read about our summer scholar in the newsletter.
Archives continues to touch people’s lives and we have an interesting story of a Wellington woman whose great, great, grandmother wrote the postcard that features in the front window of the Wellington office.
The Archive of the Moment tells the delightful story of how former Premier Richard John Seddon included his wife in the ‘corporate’ Christmas card list.
Of major significance is the recent inclusion of the National Film Unit collection on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) New Zealand Memory of the World Register. In the care of Archives New Zealand the collection was recognised for having ‘a vital part in informing New Zealanders’ view of the world and themselves for over three decades’. This brings to three the items we have on the register – the other two being the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition.
Happy reading and all the best for a restful holiday break to all our Ngā Tapuwae readers.
Acting Chief Archivist and General Manager Archives New Zealand
Improving public access to Archives New Zealand’s records is a major objective of a project focusing on linked computer files and building an open source tool to identify them. And the project has attracted international significance because there is no internationally accepted way of doing this.
“By identifying those files that are linked we’ll get a more comprehensive view of when information is missing and what can be done about it,” says Niklas Rehfeld, Digital Preservation Researcher, who is working on the project.
Niklas Rehfeld – Archives New Zealand’s summer scholar
Niklas, joined the Government Digital Archive Programme (GDAP) in November on the Summer Scholarship Programme, to assist in building the tool required to identify dependencies.
He says the project has important implications for digital preservation applications. This is because if you do have files that are dependent (linked to others) then these need to be collected in order to get the full record of information.
“We are not sure how much of a problem this is in the real world in general or at Archives in particular, but finding out is part of my research. When the tool is finished it can be used to find out how major the problem is or isn’t.”
Niklas, who has just completed a double major in Mathematics and Electronic and Computer Systems at Victoria University, says the project is stimulating and challenging.
“I’m getting some really useful experience at Archives New Zealand working on a real rather than text-book case. And if the tool works that will be pretty exciting because the digital preservation community are going to be interested in using it.”
It’s expected that the work Niklas is doing will be watched closely with some potentially interesting implications for the digital preservation community both in New Zealand and internationally.
The programme is a collaborative venture between Victoria University and Archives New Zealand. Niklas as the summer scholar will work for about 10 weeks at Archives on the GDAP between November 2011 and February 2012.
He is planning on continuing his studies next year by taking honours in computer science.
Raising awareness about all things digital is behind the next Future Perfect Conference – Digital Preservation by Design being held in March 2012.
The conference provides an opportunity to discuss the how, when and why systems design can support preservation of and access to today’s most important digital information long term.
Conference organiser Mick Crouch says a key part of the work of establishing the government digital archive is raising awareness of the challenges around protecting and providing access to digital records and information.
“We held a conference in 2010, and this one will build on the work from that,” he says.
“The first conference was about describing digital preservation – working out what exactly it is and what it involves. This one is about the how of digital recordkeeping: how to do it well and how to be involved at the beginning of the process instead of being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.
“Successfully preserving digital content depends on integrating preservation into systems design.
“As digital preservation experience and research progresses and the size and diversity of digital content grows, it’s important to actively influence the development of tools and workflows across the information life cycle to ensure continued, reliable access to records and information,” says Mick.
With guest speakers from the United States, Europe and Australia the confderence is expected to attract interest from information technologists, records and information managers, enterprise content architects, developers, academics, librarians and archivists.
People with an interest in digital preservation, digital continuity, open standards and open data (particularly government data), metadata, public sector information, technology management and archiving are also expected along.
Check out the programme and registration of interest form on the Archives New Zealand website.
The Government Digital Archive Programme, set-up in 2010 to enable Archives New Zealand to take in digital records, protect and preserve them and make them accessible, is gearing up for a busy year.
Programme Manager Alison Fleming says the three year programme is about half way through, which means a lot of the background research, thinking and planning has been done and the programme is about to meet its first milestone.
“There are three major stages all together,” she says.
“The first, which we expect will happen early in 2012, is to migrate all our current digital holdings, including scanned and transferred items, out of the interim digital repository and into the new digital archive.”
Alison said this will be a significant step in the programme and builds the platform for the next milestone, which is expected later in 2012.
“The second piece of work will give us the capacity to accept digital record transfers from agencies. Additionally it will provide a raft of advice, guidance, processes, training and software applications to help both us and agencies handle digital records as efficiently as we currently handle non-digital records.”
Also included will be “digital forensics”, where Archives staff do research and provide advice for agencies that have digital records in formats or on media which can no longer be accessed.
Archives will be testing the processes with some pilot digital transfers from agencies and organisations, including the Pike River and Christchurch Buildings Royal Commissions.
A third major milestone is planned for early 2013. This involves providing online, secure access for agencies to their digital records held in the digital archive. It will involve active digital preservation work within the archive to protect and manage the content.
Archives New Zealand is taking the lead in a proposal to establish a Blue Shield committee in New Zealand which would ensure cultural and heritage documents, artefacts, monuments and sites are better protected in times of natural disasters.
The International Committee of the Blue Shield was founded in 1996 to work for the protection of the world's cultural heritage by coordinating preparations to meet and respond to emergency situations.
Caption: Diana Coop and ARANZ Chair John Timmins discuss the establishment of Blue Shield in New Zealand.
Archives New Zealand Manager Preservation Services Diana Coop said the need for a New Zealand branch of the organisation has been highlighted by the Christchurch earthquakes.
“Working with the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ), we called together representatives from 14 organisations across the culture and heritage sector as well as the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management for an initial meeting in November.
“We had a full three-hour workshop where we looked at the vision and purpose of Blue Shield, the benefits of setting it up here as well as the potential governance and structure of the committee,” Diana Coop said.
“The aim is to bring people together from across the cultural sector to consider disaster prevention, preparedness and response with a real focus on what can be done at the grass root level.
“This inaugural meeting was most positive and as a result we’ve established a working group to further explore the benefits, membership and purpose for a New Zealand Blue Shield organisation. One of our first tasks is undertaking a gap analysis of the work and structures that already exist and where needs lie in the cultural sector at times of emergency.”
The work of Blue Shield national committees is varied and can include:
Diana Coop says Blue Shield National Committees also have an international focus and it would be pertinent to extend the range of any New Zealand committee into the Pacific.
“Having our own committee would link us to other national committees across the world and as a result we can work together and learn what others are doing in this important field to protect our culture and heritage.”
The National Film Unit newsreels, a significant collection in the care of Archives New Zealand, have just been placed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) New Zealand Memory of the World Register.
The collection was recognised for having ‘a vital part in informing New Zealanders’ view of the world and themselves for over three decades’.
The newsreels cover all major events in New Zealand’s history, sport and culture from 1942 to 1971. Shown at local cinemas as Weekly Reviews (1941-50) and Pictorial Parades (1952-71) they both portray important national events and give an insight into everyday life.
“In the period before the advent of television these newsreels were the only means of audio-visually documenting major events such as wars, political change, natural disasters, sports events and national news,” says Active Chief Archivist John Roberts.
“Central to the Archives New Zealand audio visual collection the newsreels are a familiar and memorable representation of New Zealand’s twentieth century history, societal change and relationship to the world.
“And today, they still retain a powerful impact.”
John Roberts paid a special tribute to David Smith, Senior Advisor Audio Visual Records and to Evelyn Wareham, Manager Public Sector Digital Continuity for putting together the nomination for the UNESCO biennial award.
Film maker Gaylene Preston and Simon Sigley, lecturer in media studies Massey University Auckland, endorsed the nomination.
This new award takes to three the number of archives now on the register – the others being the 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage petition.
The award was presented by former Chief Archivist Dianne Macaskill, chair of the UNESCO New Zealand Memory of the World Register committee at this year’s National Digital Forum in Wellington.
UNESCO launched the Memory of the World programme in 1992 to recognise significant documentary heritage in a similar way to that of UNESCO's World Heritage List which recognises significant natural and cultural sites. The need to protect culturally iconic documents was made in response to their being targeted during the Bosnian War.
The New Zealand Memory of the World Programme is one of over 60 programmes worldwide and was established in 2010 by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.
For information about the National Film Unit go to: http://audiovisual.archives.govt.nz/nationalfilmunit/ and view the newsreels on Archives New Zealand’s television channel at: http://www.ecasttv.co.nz/channel_detail.php?program_id=&channel_id=60
Pictured checking out the award certificate are, from left to right, Evelyn Wareham, John Roberts, Dianne Macaskill and David Smith.
Archives New Zealand’s consultation on the Digitisation Standard Review closes just before Christmas, on 23 December.
Review project manager Simon Caseley says there are three areas Archives would like to gather views on.
"First is the proposal to either adopt ISO 13028 as a Public Records Act 2005 (Act) standard or endorse it as a best practice guideline.
“Second is defining the criteria for the destruction of original digitised papers, because we will be replacing the current General Disposal Authority (GDA) for digitised source records (GDA 5) with a new authority.
“And lastly we need to know what useable tools agencies want developed to help them with responsible digitisation in accordance with the Act."
Simon Caseley updates attendees at the Auckland Recordkeeping Forum on the digitisation standard review
ISO 13028, issued in 2010 and largely based on Archives New Zealand's Digitisation Standard, is in the process of being adopted as an Australasian standard by Standards New Zealand and Standards Australia.
Archives has formed an Advisory Group to help develop the new digitisation toolkit, and the group had its first meeting in November.
Simon says the group’s members were chosen for their recordkeeping and digitisation experience and expertise. The group includes representatives nominated by Association of Local Government Information Management, Archives and records Association of New Zealand, Auckland Council, Health Information Association of New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development, Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia, Small Agency Chief Information Officer Forum, and Universities New Zealand.
The process for the digitisation review is slightly different to a normal review process because there is no draft standard under consideration.
“It makes the questions slightly different and has also reduced the consultation period somewhat. We are releasing the new digitisation toolkit in April next year – which means this is a six month process as opposed to a usual 12 month process. We encourage people to get back to us and have their say.”
A submission form and more information is available on the Archives New Zealand website. You can also contact Simon directly to discuss the review.
A passionate interest in family history and a regular walking route along Mulgrave Street has led Wellingtonian Tina Chiles to link with her past in an unusual way.
The large poster across three windows of Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office features a postcard All Goes Down With A Pinch of Salt written by Ms Chiles great, great grandmother Elizabeth Jane Walters, nee Townsend.
Tina had previously been doing some research into her forebears when she spotted the poster. After doing a ‘double-take” and thinking it was quite familiar she took a photo of it and found a perfect match with the image she had previously got from the Archives New Zealand file.
“I had been interested in my family history for a while, and with my aunt looking at the other side of the family I decided to concentrate on my maternal relatives,” Tina said.
“It’s a fascinating story and my relatives were fascinating people and the records reveal some interesting insights into what they got up to.
“By checking through the births, deaths and marriage records held at Archives New Zealand I found the postcard as well as other love letters of my great great grandmother.
“She is my Nana’s grandmother and interestingly they have quite similar handwriting.”
Describing Archives as ‘really cool’ Tina says the find was completely unexpected and the letters and the postcards were real gems from the past. She now has a reader’s card (similar to a library card) and has checked out other records including the coroner’s report for her great grandmother on her father’s side – Mary Elizabeth Chiles nee Anderson. She has also done some research at the National Library’s Papers Past site to get a fuller picture of Elizabeth’s life story.
Tina found that Elizabeth was born in Invercargill before moving to Dunedin where the Townsend clan settled for many years. Her family, which hailed from Tysoe, Warwickshire, came out on the sailing-ship Scimitar, a New Zealand Shipping Company vessel built in 1863.
“Two of Elizabeth’s older siblings died on board on their way out to New Zealand,” Tina said. “The records show this was an horrific journey with 26 children dying on the mid-1870s voyage due to a measles epidemic.
“Elizabeth went on to lead an interesting life and the postcard is part of the divorce files against her. She had two goes at getting a divorce and this postcard was attached to the first unsuccessful try.”
Tina, who has lived in Wellington since 1979, says her family were born and bred in Dunedin so it’s good to be able to search across the holdings held at other centres from the Wellington office.
“I would really like to find some photos of my family from those days, and I haven’t found any yet – so I guess I’ll keep searching,” she said.
Tina Chiles outside Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office with the poster of the postcard written by her great great grandmother
The All Goes Down With A Pinch of Salt postcard is on Dunedin exhibition website at: http://gallery.archives.govt.nz/v/dunedin/Loves+Remains/Walters/. The archives reference for the divorce file is: [DAAC/20681/D140/411 - 550/1919].
The exhibition was created as part of the City of Letters exhibition, for the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand 2009 Records and Archives Week. The Archives New Zealand contribution to the exhibition featured letters and photographs found in early divorce files, from the 1920s.
Archivist Vivienne Cuff says for her the exhibition shows how archival collections are about individual people and how they interact with government.
“It is so rare to find anything about the personal lives of ordinary people,” she says. “Putting copies of the letters and postcards both on the web, and on the Archives New Zealand building, bring archives to life.
“Making archives visible helps us all to remember the past,” she said.
John Charles Walters and Elizabeth Townsend were married in Dunedin on the 16 March 1903. They had eight children born between1904 and 1913.
John claimed that Elizabeth had committed adultery with John McCallum in the months of May and June 1919. John McCallum was a shipwright of Port Chalmers. Charles petitioned the Court for his marriage to be dissolved, £50.00 in damages from John, custody of the children, costs to be paid by John and any other relief that the Court decided. John in his answer to the Petition affirmed that the adultery did take place.
Although they were granted a Decree Nisi in 1919, John and Elizabeth decided to stay together. However, they finally got divorced in 1941; the divorce proceedings having commenced in 1929, see the divorce file: Walters, John Charles v Walters, Elizabeth Jane and Waite, William, 1929-1941 [Archives Reference: DAAC/ 20681/D140/427 – 963/1929].
Four Tongan government and church representatives visited Archives New Zealand Wellington office in November to find out more about the digitisation projects run jointly with FamilySearch.
The Tongans were in New Zealand to learn about the FamilySearch operation as they look towards a similar partnership to digitise their own important government records.
Archives New Zealand’s relationship with FamilySearch began in 2007 when initial talks were held between the then Chief Archivist Dianne Macaskill and FamilySearch representatives to digitise the Shipping Lists held in the Wellington office.
A first visit for Tongan representatives to Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office. From left to right: Alicia Wright, Group Manager Regional and Access Services; Mike Higgins, Support Manager, Asia Pacific Family History Support Officer; Sione Fineanganofo, church leader; Folau Lokotui, Chief Police Magistrate and Acting Secretary Justice Department; John Roberts, Acting Chief Archivist; Hon Ulita Uata, Minister of Health; Suliasi Kaufusi , Church Service Centre Manager.
With the completion of this project FamilySearch representatives are now digitising the Probate records held in the Christchurch and Wellington offices and will move to Auckland next year to further this work.
The visitors were appreciative of a whakatau from Mike Nathan, Pou Arahi Service Delivery and Operations, Department of Internal Affairs, who commended their interest in the work of Archives New Zealand.
Mike Higgins, Support Manager, Asia Pacific Family History Support Office, said it was a privilege to work with Archives New Zealand and a great deal had been achieved. Welcoming the visitors, Alicia Wright, Group Manager Regional and Access Services, said the visit was an opportunity for them to see how the partnership worked and what was involved in digitisation.
After the welcome, Archivist Fiona Clark accompanied the visitors to the digital laboratory where they saw first-hand what the process involved. They also heard about the institution’s archival work in the Pacific region from Advisor Government Recordkeeping Programme Anna Gulbransen and Manager Public Sector Digital Continuity Evelyn Wareham.
A Land’s Deed Book captures the interest of the visiting Tongans.
Tom McVey shows the group what’s involved in the digitisation process.
It’s been a year of change for many government departments. Most organisations have experienced some level of restructuring or reorganisation, and some have been integrated.
All of these changes have implications for records and information management.
Fortunately, Archives New Zealand has been working on these issues and has developed a programme to help.
Senior Advisor Government Recordkeeping, Anna Gulbransen says good records management is an important part of making change successful rather than stressful.
“Good records management means people and organisations have access to the information they need to successfully transition into new teams, or new organisations. Archives is working on an administrative change toolkit to help agencies manage their records through all types of change processes.”
Anna says the Archives programme includes information about how to protect current records to ensure they are not lost, how to manage record access when different organisations have different records management platforms, and how to use the change process as an opportunity to set-up new systems and make the change process more successful.
“The tool kit will include high level strategic information, covering what types of things need to be considered during a change process, as well as practical tools and guides about how to manage records and information so it is preserved and can still be accessed.”
Acting Chief Archivist John Roberts and Audrey Taylor from the Auckland Council who spoke about the importance of recordkeeping at times of change to some 75 people at the Auckland Recordkeeping Forum
In November the Government Recordkeeping Programme ran a forum for government record and information management professionals looking at change and its implications. The forum included presentations from recordkeepers from two agencies, Auckland City Council and Ministry of Fisheries, which have recently gone through change. A panel discussion with the presenters plus Archives New Zealand staff discussed successful records and information management.
“The main message is that it is not only important to prepare for change and manage the impact on records, but also that change provides a great opportunity to improve and develop records management and recordkeeping practice,” Anna says.
More information about the Archives recordkeeping forums is available on the Archives New Zealand website.
At the Wellington Recordkeeping Forum, from left to right: Anna Gulbransen; John Roberts; Patrick Power, Manager Government Recordkeeping Programme; Jackie Davidson, Auckland Council; Philippa Fogarty, SWIM ltd; and Olwyn Cruthley, Ministry of Fisheries
King Dick’s Xmas greeting to “Mrs Seddon”
Premier (Prime Minister) Richard John Seddon was either very busy or very frugal when it came to Christmas cards. “King Dick” as he was commonly known sent his wife the official Premier’s Christmas card that would have been sent to various dignitaries and Members of Parliament.
They were addressed to “Mrs Seddon”, with the exception of one “To my Darling Wife” Though this may seem cold, it was more likely a reflection of Victorian times which did not approve of public displays of affection even between husband and wife.
The cards often contained photos of important events during the year. King Dick, not known for his modesty, featured in many.
Mrs Seddon would have been aware of her husband’s achievements, but she had the card in case she forgot!
These cards are from one of the many collections of political papers held at Archives New Zealand.
Click on the link below to view further cards from “King Dick”:
Pictured: The Premiere’s official Xmas card for 1901 (front and back covers)
To mark the 70th anniversary of the World War Two attack on Pearl Harbour, Ancestry.com made their 60 million war personnel records available for free from 2-7 December. Members of the site generally pay between $12.95 and $20 per month.
You can explore records of New Zealand soldiers on Archives’ online search engine Archway, or come and visit us in one of our four Reading Rooms across the country.
HAKA! Speaking with Every Move, is an exhibition that explores the tradition of haka, and shows its continuing importance in today’s world through photographs, film and sound recordings.
The content of the exhibition comes from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Archives New Zealand, New Zealand Film Archive, artwork by Philip Trusttum, contemporary film provided by Te Matatini and kapa haka groups, Vince Heperi, and a contribution from Ngāti Whātua.
HAKA! will be in The Window at the National Library in Auckland until 5 April 2012, 10am-6pm, Monday-Friday.
Abstracts from the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) Conference 2011 presentations are now available to read online – links are in the bottom right-hand corner.
This year’s conference was themed Passion, People and Power and ran from 30 October to 2 December 2011.
National Librarian Bill Macnaught’s full keynote speech is accessible on the National Library’s website.
A strong contingent of Archives New Zealand staff participated in this year’s National Digital Forum held at Te Papa Tongarewa in November.
Senior Adviser Euan Cochrane presented on emulation and being ‘practicool’ which generated excellent feedback. In the interactive workshop session Euan and Evelyn Wareham, Manager Public Sector Digital Continuity, created a buzz with their Cool old digital stuff – Digital preservation by design presentation.
With a line-up of internation
al speakers and a busy programme the focus was on delivering what customers want and on collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and information institutions to see what an be done collectively to best meet customers’ needs.
In the interactive session Senior Advisor Euan Cochrane, centre, demonstrates how emulation can bring to life Cool old digital stuff.
Archives New Zealand Manager Appraisal, Cheryl Pointon, (left) at the Archives New Zealand stand with Kylie Ngaropo Te Papa’s Manager Iwi Development.
Archivist and historian Graham Langton assisted a Māori television production crew when they were in Wellington recently to film for two documentaries for screening on Waitangi Day next year.
The four-person team were filming a documentary about Dame Claudia Orange and her journey to the Treaty of Waitangi, as well as another documentary focussing on women, particularly Māori women, when Te Tiriti was signed.
Graham Langton with his in-depth knowledge of the history of the time talked to director Tipare Iti about his impression of Queen Victoria and gave his view on how women and particularly Māori women were regarded in the 1840s and onwards.
Camera rolling: Left to right, cameraman Simon Ellis (obscured), director Tipare Iti and Graham Langton.
Wellington researcher Charlotte Williams has been awarded the 2012 Friends of the Turnbull Library Research Grant of $10,000 to assist in completing her current project: A History of Relations between Māori and the National Party 1936-1996.
The Friends of the Turnbull Library Research Grant recognises the distinctive contribution a research and heritage library makes to public knowledge. Charlotte Williams is an independent researcher and public policy analyst with degrees from Oxford University and Princeton. A former member of the Council of Lincoln University (1987-2005), she is the eighth recipient of the grant.
Previous grants have been awarded to Philip Norman for his biography of Douglas Lilburn; Tim Beaglehole for a biography of the historian JC Beaglehole; Jennifer Shennan for her biography of dancer Poul Gnatt; Paul Meredith for a book based on the journey to England of the Māori King Te Rata in 1914; and to Philip Simpson for his book, Totara: Te Mahi a Rauru. Find out more at: www.turnbullfriends.org.nz