Parliamentary archives online

NZPA report:

has started digitising journals dating back to the 1860s, with the information to be made available online.

The project, to be launched in Parliament by Speaker Lockwood Smith today, involves 24 volumes of the historic Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (A to J), covering the 1860s and 1870s.

The pilot volumes include 27,219 pages, 1807 reports and 158 foldouts comprising maps, plans and tables, and will be searchable online.

Very very cool. History should be accessible, and this will make it more so.

The journals cover a significant period of history including the land wars and confiscation of land, the discovery of gold and influx of migrants, Premier Sir Julius Vogel’s public works and immigration programme involving a mass government-assisted immigration scheme and the building of railways and roads, and the abolition of the provinces and strengthening of central government.

Parliament’s historian Dr John Martin said the volumes were “hidden treasures”. In all, 600 volumes will eventually be digitised, with progress dependent on funding availability.

Just get rid of a couple of MPs to pay for it 🙂

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